The California COVID-19 paid leave posting has been released, and state officials have also issued FAQs about the law.
As a refresher, this latest iteration of COVID-19 paid sick leave in California is slightly different from the previous version.
The 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave provides covered employees up to 80 hours of COVID-19-related paid leave, with up to 40 of those hours for:
- Isolation and quarantine
- Receiving vaccines
- Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed
The other 40 of those hours are available only when an employee — or family member for whom the employee provides care — tests positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the related California COVID-19 paid leave posting must be displayed in English and Spanish. For employees who work from home, employers must provide the labor law posting through electronic means.
GovDocs Employment Law Minute has followed the law in recent weeks:
Labor Law Poster Updates. Simplified.
California COVID-19 Paid Leave
The law, now in effect, applies to employers with 26 or more workers (including those with collective bargaining agreements), and must be provided through Sept. 30, 2022. It does not apply to independent contractors.
State officials have released a set of FAQs for employers. Below are a few of the highlights.
Covered employees are those who cannot work or telework due to the related reasons. Employees are entitled to paid sick leave that is in addition to leave that was provided under previous laws which expired Sept. 30, 2021.
Definition of Family Member
A family member includes a child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling. A child can include a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, legal ward, or child to whom the employee essentially acts as a parent.
Meanwhile, a parent includes a biological, adoptive, or foster parent, step-parent, or legal guardian of the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner or person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.
The California COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave must be listed separately from regular paid sick leave on an itemized paystub or separate writing at the time wages are paid.
Also, records must be kept for a three-year period on regular paid sick days and COVID-19 days accrued and used, and that the records be made available to the California labor commissioner or employee upon request.
For each hour of paid sick leave that nonexempt covered employees are entitled to receive, they must be paid one of the following:
- The employee’s regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave is taken
- A rate calculated by dividing the employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total non-overtime hours worked in the full pay periods of the prior 90 days of employment, provided that, for nonexempt employees paid by piece rate, commission or other method that uses all hours to determine the regular rate of pay, non-overtime wages shall be divided by all hours
The California COVID-19 paid leave must be calculated in the same manner as other forms of paid leave. An employer is not required to pay more than $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate to a covered employee for leave taken by the covered employee, but the covered employee may utilize other paid leave that may be available in order to receive what they would normally earn if the cap is reached.
Find the full set of FAQs online.
Paid Leave Management. Simplified.
The California Department of Industrial Relations notes in its FAQs that the guidance may be subject to change. And that has been the case for employment laws across the U.S. during the pandemic.
Even as there are encouraging signs regarding COVID-19, employers must continue to monitor state and local laws to remain compliant.