As previously reported, the California Legislature recently proposed new COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) for most of 2022. On February 7, the proposal passed the legislature and on February 9, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law — and it becomes effective on February 19, 2022.
The February 19 date is important as it sets deadlines for when employers must not only comply with providing the leave, but display a poster about the law and include certain information on employee paystubs.
The new law requires the Labor Commissioner’s office to create and provide access to the poster no later than February 16, which means employers should regularly check the Labor Commissioner’s website to obtain the poster. Once the poster is available, employers must post it in a conspicuous location at each worksite and provide it to employees working remotely. Employers are expressly authorized to provide the poster via email to their remote workforce.
Employers should also start working with payroll providers now to ensure that a separate line item on employees’ wage statements reflects the amount of COVID-19 SPSL the employee has used to date. If an employee has not yet used any, the wage statement will reflect that zero hours have been used. The wage statement requirement takes effect for the first full pay period after February 19.
Although the law’s effective date is February 19, it contains a retroactivity provision similar to last year’s COVID-19 SPSL. This means that, upon employee’s request, an employer should either provide SPSL to an employee who took unpaid time off for qualifying reasons starting January 1, 2022, or if the employee used a different paid time off bank — such as vacation or regular paid sick leave — the employer should credit those hours back to the appropriate bank and deduct from the employee’s SPSL bank.
For details regarding the qualifying reasons and hours entitlement, review our previous blog.