As you know, beginning in 2020, state and federal law created paid sick leave benefits for employees who were excluded from work due to a variety of qualifying reasons relating to COVID-19.
With the expiration of those programs on September 30, 2021, employees have relied on existing sick leave and/or vacation benefits to cover missed hours… a situation that has been especially challenging during the Omicron surge. In response, Governor Newsom’s office published a press release Tuesday, January 25, 2022 announcing the return of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL).
SPSL 2.0 – What to Plan For
Details about the proposed SPSL benefit are provided in an L. A. Times story published late Tuesday morning. While the text of the Governor’s proposal is not yet available, the Times suggests the following:
• This law would apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees.
• SPSL would be retroactive to January 1, 2022 and expire after September 30, 2022.
• Full-time employees would be eligible for 40 hours of paid time off if they are sick or need to care for loved ones, and for an additional 40 hours if they provide proof of a positive COVID test. Part-time employees would be eligible for pro-rated benefits.
• SPSL could also be used when a parent must stay home with a child who cannot attend school due to COVID-19 exposure or illness.
The agreement between Governor Newsom and legislators is said to include separate proposals to restore tax credits for SPSL.
There is no indication of when this bill will be passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Newsom. Reports simply say that lawmakers will “fast-track” the bill to the Governor “in coming weeks.” It would likely be in effect immediately upon signature.
Sierra HR Partners will provide more information as the proposed text of this bill becomes available to the public. Currently, there is no requirement to provide any supplemental paid time off, but the proposed legislation is retroactive to January 1. We recommend that employers track all COVID-19-related absences and review payroll system settings in preparation for payment of SPSL when it becomes effective.
As always, Sierra HR Partners is here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 precautions. Stay tuned for more information, and contact one of our Consultants with any questions you have.