Governor Newsom Signs COVID-19 Sick Pay, Small Business Relief Bill – Employee Benefits & Compensation – United States – Mondaq

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California is extending COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave
(SPSL) through the end of 2022 under a bill signed into law by
Governor Gavin Newsom on September 29, 2022. Assembly Bill (AB) 152 will also set up a
program to provide grants of up to $50,000 to qualified small
businesses to cover costs incurred for COVID-19 SPSL. The law takes
effect immediately, extending the SPSL, which was previously set to
expire on September 30, 2022.

Under the law providing for California SPSL, which was
passed in February 2022, full-time employees are entitled to up to
40 hours of paid leave if they are forced to miss work after being
diagnosed with COVID-19 or need to care for a family member
diagnosed with COVID-19. The law provides an additional 40 hours of
SPSL to employees if they themselves test positive for COVID-19 and
cannot work remotely. AB 152 amends the law to allow employers to
require a third COVID-19 test within 24 hours of a second positive
test and allows employers to deny additional COVID-19 SPSL to
employees who refuse to submit to tests.

AB 152 also establishes the California Small Business and
Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program within the Governor’s
Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). The program
will provide grants to qualified small businesses and nonprofit
organizations for COVID-19 SPSL costs incurred between January 1,
2022, and December 31, 2022.

The law was signed one day before the deadline for Governor
Newsom to sign bills passed in the latest legislative session. In a
press release, Governor Newsom’s office
said AB 152 is part of a slew of bills he signed to “help
hard-working Californians access family and disability leave
benefits.”

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on
developments with respect to California’s COVID-19 mandates and
will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center and on
the California blog as additional information
becomes available. California COVID SPSL and other state and major
locality laws requiring paid leave for COVID-related absences are
also shown in our complimentary COVID-19 Paid Leave maps and covered in
greater detail in our COVID Paid Leave 50-state survey. Important
information for employers is also available via the firm’s the
firm’s webinar and podcast programs.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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