Last week, bill language was introduced in the State Legislature which, when enacted, will require employers of more than 25 employees to provide up to 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL). The SPSL proposal is the product of negotiations between the Governor’s administration, organized labor, and the business community. CSDA and its local government coalition partners joined together in a letter expressing concerns over several aspects of the SPSL proposal. The coalition letter can be found here.
The SPSL bill language can be found here: AB 84 / SB 114. Continue to check these links to track amendments to the SPSL bill language.
Under the SPSL proposal (current as of February 6, 2022), between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022, employers will be required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave to covered employees under the following circumstances:
(A) The covered employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidance of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local public health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace.
(B) The covered employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
(C) The covered employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19, subject to the limitation in clause (ii) of subparagraph (D).
(i) The covered employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework.
(ii) For each vaccination or vaccine booster, an employer may limit the total COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to 3 days or 24 hours unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that the covered employee or their family member is continuing to experience symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster.
(E) The covered employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
(F) The covered employee is caring for a family member who is subject to an order or guidance described in subparagraph (A) or who has been advised to isolate or quarantine, as described in subparagraph (B).
(G) 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.
Covered employees are entitled to an additional 40 hours of SPSL if the covered employee, or a family member for whom the covered employee is providing care, tests positive for COVID-19, however:
- An employer may require the employee to submit to a diagnostic test on or after the fifth day after the test was taken and provide documentation of those results. The employer shall make such a test available at no cost to the employee.
- If the employee requests to use the additional leave because a family member for whom they are providing care tests positive for COVID-19, the employer may require that the employee provide documentation of that family member’s test results before paying the additional leave.
- The employer has no obligation to provide additional SPSL for an employee who refuses to provide documentation of the results of the test upon the request of the employer.
Firefighters with alternative work schedules may receive additional hours of SPSL under certain circumstances.
The SPSL proposal contains provisions for retroactive pay and reporting of leave usage.
As set forth in the coalition letter, CSDA is raising specific concerns with the SPSL bill language, summarized as follows:
- Employers can no longer require exhaustion of SPSL prior to providing exclusion pay under the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Workplace Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).
- Lack of harmonization of testing language and policies between SPSL and the ETS.
- Need for a reasonable implementation grace period and additional controls on retroactive SPSL pay.
- Onerous leave reporting requirements.
CSDA and its coalition partners are exploring whether funding can be made available to offset public agency employers’ costs under the SPSL program.
The SPSL proposal was voted out of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee on February 3. A similar version is slated for a floor vote in the Assembly. The SPSL proposal is expected to be signed into law by the Governor within the next week.
CSDA will remain engaged as the SPSL proposal advances. Please check eNews and Advocacy News Blog for further updates.