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New California Supplemental Sick Leave

California has passed a new version of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) that took effect on February 19, 2022, and applies retroactively back to January 1, 2022. The law expires on September 30, 2022.

Employee Eligibility
All employees of covered employers are immediately eligible, regardless of status, hours worked per week, or length of employment.

Amount of Leave
This new SPSL provides two separate banks of leave: one that employees can access for numerous reasons related to COVID (we’ll call this Standard SPSL) and another they can access only when they or a family member test positive COVID-19 (we’ll call this Positive Test SPSL).

Full-time employees (as defined by the employer) and those who have worked, or were scheduled to work, an average of 40 hours (or more) over the two weeks before their leave are entitled to 40 hours for Standard SPSL and an additional 40 hours for Positive Test SPSL.

Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours they are usually scheduled to work in a week. For employees who work variable hours, calculations will vary and will be provided when the employee contacts HR to indicate their need to utilize the COVID leave. The same calculation applies to their bank of Standard SPSL hours and their bank of Positive Test SPSL hours.

No employee is entitled to more than 80 hours of SPSL between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022.

Use of Leave
Employees can take Standard SPSL if they are unable to work or telework because:

  • They are subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 according to an order or guidance of a public health authority.
  • A health care provider has advised them to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
  • They are attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or a vaccine booster.
  • They are experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster (for each shot, the employer can limit leave to three days or 24 hours, inclusive of time spent getting the shot, unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that symptoms are ongoing).
  • They are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • They are caring for a family member who is isolating or quarantining because of COVID-19 according to an order or guidance of a public health authority or their health care provider’s advice.
  • The covered 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.

Employees can use their Positive Test SPSL hours if they are unable to work or telework because:

  • They test positive for COVID-19
  • A family member they provide care for tests positive for COVID-19

Leaves Taken Between January 1 and February 18, 2022
If an employee took leave between January 1, 2022, and February 18, 2022, for a qualifying reason under the new SPSL, but was not paid for this leave in the amount required under this law, they have the right to request a retroactive payment equal to the amount required.

An employee who used PSL or another type of paid time off for a qualifying reason between January 1 and February 18 will be entitled to request, orally or in writing, that those hours be converted to SPSL.

Documentation from Employees
Employees are entitled to take Standard SPSL immediately upon oral or written request and may not be required to provide medical certification or proof of their need for leave.

Employers can require proof of an employee’s positive COVID-19 test to confirm their need for additional paid leave via Positive Test SPSL. Employees will be required to upload the test results into Med+Proctor.

All requests for the adjustment of leave taken between January 1 and February 18, 2022, and all requests for the additional hours must be submitted to Ana Duenas in the Office of Human Resources at aduenas@laverne.edu.