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In the wake of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and pressure from politicians and labor leaders, California Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers have agreed to extend the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave policy that employers have familiarized themselves with during the pandemic, but which was allowed to lapse at the end of September of 2021 and provided up to 80 hours of COVID-related paid leave.  The renewed supplemental paid sick leave, which applies to all COVID-19 related illness, vaccination and family care, is expected to be signed by the Governor soon as part of a budget package.  The policy will be made retroactive to January 1, 2022, and will expire on September 30, 2022.

Although the exact details have not been fully finalized, under the extended policy, employers with 26 or more employees will be required to provide the following leave for employees:

  • Up to forty (40) hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees with COVID or who need time off to care for a family member with COVID
  • An additional forty (40) hours of paid leave for full-time employees with evidence of a positive COVID test for themselves or a family member who needs to be cared for who tested positive for COVID  
  • Part-time employees will receive leave based on the number of hours worked in a typical workweek.  
  • An additional three (3) days of sick leave for obtaining a vaccine, going to a vaccine appointment with a family member, or recovering from side effects following vaccination  

What then is an important take-away for proactive employers with the anticipated extension of COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave? Employers should have procedures in place to track and document COVID-related leave hours and the reason for its use by employees, whether it be hours off as a result of their own COVID illness or the COVID illness of a family member, or vaccination-related time off. 

Questions? Give McKague Rosasco LLP a call if you need help with how your company can best handle the ever-evolving COVID-19 policies as they relate to your workplace.

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