California Enacts New COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Feb 11, 2022

On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 114, reviving COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave requirements for California employers. Beginning February 19, 2022, certain California employers will be required to provide qualifying employees with up to 80 hours of COVID-19-related supplemental paid sick leave (CSPSL).

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The bill applies retroactively to January 1, 2022, and will remain in effect until September 30, 2022. Learn more about California’s new CSPSL requirements below.

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Covered Employers and Employees

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SB 114’s CSPSL requirements apply to all California employers with 26 or more employees. All employees of covered employers, regardless of their length of service, are entitled to an amount of CSPSL that varies according to the amount of hours they regularly work.

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Qualifying Reasons for Taking Leave

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Covered California employers must provide employees with CSPSL when they are unable to work or telework due to any of the following reasons:

  • Employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19, as defined by federal, state, or local orders or guidance.
  • Employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
  • Employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, subject to some limitations.*
  • Employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework, subject to some limitations.*
  • Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation order or guidance or who has been advised to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19-related concerns.
  • Employee 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.
  • Employee tests positive, or is caring for a family member who tests positive, for COVID-19.

*For each vaccination or vaccine booster, an employer may limit the total COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to 3 days or 24 hours unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that the covered employee or their family member is continuing to experience symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster.

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Duration of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

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All employees are entitled to two separate “up to 40 hour” reserves of leave, adding up to a maximum of 80 hours of CSPSL:

  • One reserve of up to 40 hours CSPSL is only available if the employee tests positive for, or is caring for a family member who tests positive for, COVID-19.
    • Importantly, employers may require employees and/or their family member to provide documentation of a positive test to utilize this leave. If an employee refuses to provide the employer with this documentation, the employer may refuse to provide this leave. Employers should consult with legal counsel to discuss the limitations of imposing this verification requirement.
  • The second reserve of up to 40 hours is only available for other covered reasons, such as vaccine appointments and recovery, quarantine and isolation, and experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Full-Time Employees: Employees are entitled to 40 hours per bank of leave if they are considered “full-time” or are otherwise scheduled to work on average at least 40 hours per week in the two weeks before they take CSPSL.

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Non-Full-Time Employees: Employees who do not work “full-time” are entitled to CSPSL in an amount proportional to their hours worked. This leave is calculated as follows:

  • If the covered employee has a normal weekly schedule, they are entitled to the total number of hours they are normally scheduled to work for the employer over one week per bank of leave.
  • If the covered employee works a variable number of hours, they are entitled to seven times the average number of daily hours the covered employee worked for the employer in the six calendar months preceding the date the covered employee took COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave per bank of leave.
    • If the covered employee has worked for the employer over a period of fewer than six months but more than seven days, this calculation shall instead be made over the entire period the covered employee has worked for the employer.
  • If the covered employee works a variable number of hours and has worked for the employer over a period of seven days or fewer, they are entitled to the total number of hours the covered employee has worked for that employer per bank of leave.

Rate of Pay

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Nonexempt employees’ rate of pay must be calculated using one of the following methods:

  • Calculated in the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the employee uses CSPSL, whether or not the employee actually works overtime in that workweek.
  • Calculated by dividing the employees total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employees total nonovertime hours worked in the full pay periods occurring within the prior 90 days of employment—provided that (for nonexempt employees paid by piece rate, commission or another method that uses all hours to determine the regular rate of pay) total wages, not including overtime premium pay, must be divided by all hours to determine the correct amount of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave under this subdivision.

Employers must calculate exempt employees’ rate of pay in the same manner used for other forms of paid leave time.

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Effective Dates and Limitations

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Employees may take a maximum of 80 hours SPSL between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022. Employees eligible for exclusion pay under Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard (ATDS) may not be required to first exhaust SB 114’s CSPSL before using exclusion pay.

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Notice Requirements

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The Labor Commissioner will soon create a CSPSL model notice poster, which will be available on their website and must be displayed by covered employers in the workplace. When employees do not regularly visit the workplace, employers may satisfy this notice requirement by distributing the notice electronically, such as by email.

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Employers will also be required to notify qualifying employees of the amount of leave they have already used (which may be zero hours) on their wage statements or in separate documents. This wage statement obligation will not be enforceable until the first full pay period after the bill’s effective date on February 19, 2022. Within these notice statements, COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave must be set forth separately from other paid sick days.

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Resources for California Employers

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Look out for the California Labor Commissioner’s model notice poster and additional FAQs here.

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View the full text of Senate Bill 114 here.

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If you have questions regarding this article, please contact Patrick Maloney or Lisa Von Eschen of the Maloney Firm’s Employment Law Department.


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