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Extension Likely for California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

by Melissa Whitehead | | August 31, 2022

We may finally have the answer to a question California employers have been asking all summer:  Yes, California’s COVID-19-related Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) law will almost certainly be extended. In February 2022, Governor Newsom signed a bill requiring employers with 26 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of SPSL for specified COVID-19-related reasons. It expires on September 30, 2022, unless extended. (For a refresher on SPSL, read our previous posts, here and here.)

On August 27, 2022, the California Legislature amended budget bill AB 152 to extend SPSL through December 31, 2022. Notably, although the time in which workers may use SPSL will be extended, it does not provide for additional leave time. So, workers who have already exhausted their SPSL will not receive any new SPSL time.

AB 152 has not made its way to Governor Newsom’s desk, yet, but will become effective immediately if (when!) he signs it.

In addition to the extension, AB 152 contains other important changes:

  • Small businesses (26-49 employees) and nonprofits may be eligible for grants to help offset the costs of SPSL.
  • Employers may require workers to take an additional COVID-19 diagnostic test after the fifth day from when they first tested positive.
  • Employers will not be required to provide SPSL to employees who refuse to take the COVID-19 diagnostic tests permitted by SB 114 and AB 152.

We will let you know when AB 152 is effective. In the meantime, read the full text of AB 152 here.

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