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On January 25, Governor Newsom, along with Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, announced that they “reached an agreement on a framework” to ensure California employees have continued access to supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave through September 30, 2022.  

According to the JD Supra story, Employers should be aware of the following key features of the new COVID PSL agreement:

– – The law will apply to employers with 26 or more employees. This is similar to the 2021 COVID PSL law.
– – Full-time employees will be entitled to 40 hours of paid leave due to COVID-19, and an additional 40 hours of paid leave upon showing proof that they (or their family member) has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Under the 2021 COVID PSL, full time-employees were entitled to up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. The framework agreement provides that employers will have to pay for the test(s), but it is unclear whether this covers tests for the employee only, or includes testing for their family members.
– – The leave will be retroactive to any time off beginning January 1, 2022. This retroactivity is similar to the 2021 COVID PSL law.
– – The leave program will expire on September 30, 2022. This is similar to the 2021 COVID PSL law.

While details are still being worked out, the Department of Finance has stated that the law will likely mirror the 2021 leave program. Accordingly, employees will likely receive a maximum of $511 per day, or $5,110 total.

The framework deal reached does not currently include any offsetting tax credits for employers to provide COVID PSL.

California employers should be aware that the state will likely reinstate COVID-19 paid sick leave similar in many ways to the 2021 COVID PSL law.

However, employers should be aware that legislation to implement the framework deal is not yet in place, and should keep current on the law that is (likely to be) implemented. Employers should consider adding addenda to their current policy documents, and should notify human resources professionals to stay abreast of this ongoing development.