Updated: Oct 5
The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued its SB 114 model notice for the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave ("SPSL”).
Effective February 19, 2022, SB 114 provided eligible employees working for covered employers with access to SPSL for qualifying COVID-19-related time off work taken between January 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022. Our full article on SB 114 can be accessed here.
SPSL MODEL NOTICE
These model notices and other related COVID-19 materials are also available on the Department of Industrial Relations’ website here.
The model notices must be posted in a “conspicuous place” in the workplace, and should generally be posted in the same location at which other required workplace notices are posted. Covered employers may also provide the notice electronically or by mail to remote workers.
SPSL FAQs WILL BE OUT SOON
The Labor Commission has issued SPSL FAQs, which you can find them here. Please review the FAQs and responses for further clarifying information about the revamped SPSL.
COVERED EMPLOYERS & EMPLOYEES
SPSL applies to employers with 26 or more employees. SB 114 applies to both full and part-time employees, and there is no length of service requirement to be eligible for the SPSL entitlement.
Under SB 114, a covered worker is any employee who “is unable to work or telework” for one of the following seven reasons:
The covered employee “is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19” as defined by an order or guidelines of the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), or a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace. Note that if an employee is subject to more than one isolation or quarantine period recommended by different agencies, SB 114 requires that the employee be permitted to use these benefits under the order or guidelines that provide for the longest period.
The covered employee has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
The covered employee is personally attending an appointment or attending with a family member to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.
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. Note that employers may limit the total sick leave related to each vaccination or booster to three days or 24 hours, unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that they or their family member is continuing to experience symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 vaccine booster. This three-day/24-hour limit includes the time used to get the vaccine or vaccine booster.
The covered employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
The covered employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a quarantine or isolation period (as defined by an order or guidelines of the CDPH, the CDC, or a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace) or who has been advised by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
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.
Recall also that full-time covered employees are entitled to two buckets of SPSL. The first bucket contains up to 40 hours of SPSL for any of the seven reasons listed above (no proof requirement), and the second bucket entitles covered employees to an additional 40 hours of SPSL if they show proof that they tested positive for COVID, or proof that a family member for whom they are providing care tested positive for COVID. There is no requirement that employees exhaust the first SPSL bucket before using the additional leave provided in the second SPSL bucket for testing positive, or caring for a family member that tests positive.
Note, however, that to be eligible for the second bucket of 40 hours of SPSL, employers may require documentation of the covered employee’s COVID-19 test results, or the test results of the family member for whom the employee is caring. Employers that require such proof must provide the test at no cost. The employer has no obligation to provide benefits from this second bucket of leave for an employee who refuses to provide documentation of the test results.
DOCUMENTING SPSL ON PAY STUBS
Remember that SPSL must be separated from the employees’ regular California paid sick days or PTO benefits. SPSL must be listed as a separate line item on the pay stub or documented on a separate document issued with the pay stub. In a change from last year’s listing requirements, however, only the amount of SPSL that has been used by a covered employee must be listed, rather than the amount available. For example, if a covered employee used no SPSL in 2022, the statement should list zero hours used. If the employee has used 10 hours of SPSL in 2022, the statement should list 10 hours used.
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