Governor Newsom To Revive COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave 
Governor Newsom To Revive COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave 

Governor Newsom and the California Legislature have agreed to enact new legislation that will revive COVID-19 paid sick leave. The prior law created by Senate Bill 95, expired on September 30.  The new law is included in the state budget process and should be complete in a matter of weeks.

The proposal is still being worked on, but it is likely that it will apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees. It is also probable that the bill will be retroactive to January 1, 2022 and will continue until September 30, 2022. The qualifying reasons will be the same as in SB 95 and will cover any employee subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace. The leave will also apply to any employee who: has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; is receiving a vaccination for protection against contracting COVID-19; is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework; is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; is caring for an immediate family member who is subject to an isolation or quarantine order or guidelines or who has been advised to self-quarantine; or is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

The length of the leave will be no more than 40 hours for all employees and an additional 40 hours permitted upon proof of a positive test. Part-time workers would be eligible for paid sick leave on a pro-rata basis. In all cases the supplemental paid sick leave will be capped at 80 hours. As with the prior law, the rate of pay would be capped at a maximum of $511 per day and the employer will be able to require that this leave be exhausted before using any leave available under the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2021. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.


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