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California: COVID Relief and Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On August 31, 2022, AB 152 (Committee on Budget) passed the California legislature, it was signed by Governor Newson on September 29, and took effect immediately.

The bill establishes the COVID-19 Relief Grant Program within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to help qualified small businesses or non-profits with grants up to $50,000 to reimburse COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave provided between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

The bill also extends COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave provisions from September 30, 2022 to December 31, 2022 to enable employees to take any unused COVID supplemental paid sick leave, keeping the total amount of leave available the same. The bill also permits employers to ask employees to submit to an additional COVID-19 test between days five and ten, after the first positive test. If an employee refuses to submit to a test, the employer has no obligation to provide additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. Employers also would not be obligated to provide additional leave to employees who have already used their allotment for 2022.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers may want to evaluate whether they are covered by these leave obligations and whether they qualify for the small business grant relief. Additional information on California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave including leave eligibility, leave amounts, employer and employee obligations and notice templates can be found on the California Department of Industrial Relations website.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.