In February 2022, California enacted Senate Invoice (“SB”) 114, which created California Labor Code part 248.6 to supply COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Depart (“CSPSL”) to coated staff. CSPSL was as a result of expire on September 30, 2022. On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Meeting Invoice (“AB”) 152, which (1) extends CSPSL via December 31, 2022, (2) offers employers the power to require an extra diagnostic check earlier than staff use CSPSL in sure circumstances, and (3) creates a grant program to help certified small enterprise and nonprofits with grants for prices incurred for CSPSL supplied in 2022.
Extension of Supplemental Paid Sick Depart
Underneath SB 114, California employers with 26 or extra staff have been required to supply as much as 80 hours of CSPSL in two batches (every batch allowing as much as 40 hours of CSPSL) after January 1, 2022, via September 30, 2022. AB 152 now extends this paid depart till December 31, 2022.
AB 152 doesn’t present any further or new depart to present staff. Fairly, it extends the deadline for an eligible worker to make use of CSPSL from September 30, 2022, to December 31, 2022.
An worker employed on or after October 1, 2022 can be eligible to make use of CSPSL.
Expanded Diagnostic Testing
Beforehand, staff may use their second batch of as much as 40 further hours of CSPSL provided that the worker or the worker’s member of the family, for whom the worker is offering care, examined constructive for COVID-19. When an worker sought to make use of their second batch of CSPSL due to their very own constructive COVID-19 check, employers may require the worker to submit documentation of their authentic constructive check and have been permitted to disclaim an worker’s use of further CSPSL if the worker refused to submit this documentation. Employers may additionally require the worker to undergo a diagnostic check on or after the fifth day after the unique constructive check was taken and supply documentation of these outcomes. Nonetheless, it was unclear if employers may deny an worker’s use of further CSPSL if the worker refused to undergo the diagnostic check.
Now, beneath AB 152, if the results of the diagnostic check is constructive, an employer might require the worker to undergo a second diagnostic check inside at least 24 hours. As well as, AB 152 clarifies that an employer might deny an worker’s use of their second batch of further CSPSL if the worker refuses to undergo both diagnostic check.
As was the case beforehand, any diagnostic testing have to be for gratis to an worker.
New Grants for Small Employers Offering CSPSL
AB 152 additionally establishes the California Small Enterprise and Nonprofit COVID-19 Aid Grant Program throughout the Governor’s Workplace of Enterprise and Financial Growth. This program will help certified small companies and nonprofits with grants for precise prices incurred for CSPSL supplied in 2022. These certified small companies and nonprofits can obtain a most grant of as much as $50,000, which is not going to depend as “gross earnings” for state tax functions. This system is about to be repealed on January 1, 2024.
With a view to qualify, small companies and registered nonprofits should:
- be a “C” company, “S” company, cooperative, restricted legal responsibility firm, partnership, or restricted partnership, or a registered 01(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19);
- have begun working earlier than June 1, 2021;
- be at present energetic and working;
- have 26 to 49 staff and supply payroll information and an affidavit, signed beneath penalty of perjury, testifying to that truth;
- have supplied COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Depart; and
- present sure organizing paperwork together with:
- a 2020 or 2021 tax return or Type 990; and
- a replica of official submitting with the Secretary of State or native municipality (e.g., Articles of Incorporation, Certificates of Group, Fictitious Title of Registration, 501(c)(3) registration, or Authorities-Issued Enterprise License)
Employers ought to proceed to adjust to CSPSL via the top of 2022. Whereas employers might require additional diagnostic testing, employers should be sure that they cowl the prices of these exams. Additional, if CSPSL is supplied, then eligible small and nonprofit employers ought to contemplate making use of for a state grant to cowl any prices incurred on account of CSPSL.
Whereas AB 152 expands CSPSL, native COVID-19 supplemental paid sick depart ordinances should still apply or require further depart as nicely. Particularly, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Lengthy Seaside have additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick depart ordinances which will apply along with CSPSL. This text will not be meant to be an unequivocal, one-size suits all steering, however as a substitute represents our interpretation of the place relevant regulation at present and customarily stands. This text doesn’t tackle the potential impacts of the quite a few different native, state and federal orders which have been issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, together with, with out limitation, potential legal responsibility ought to an worker turn out to be in poor health, necessities concerning household depart, sick pay, and different points.