FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN 2022 PAID COVID SICK-LEAVE EXPANDED « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


California’s New Variant: Up to 80 Hours Paid Time Away 

Effective February 19, 2022, California Labor Code 248.6’s revived 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (SPSL) requires employers with 26 or more on payroll to provide eligible CA employees with as many as 80 hours of paid benefits retroactively from January 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022.


A covered full-time employee may take up to 40 hours of paid leave if unable to work or telework for any of these reasons:

  • Vaccine-related: For attending vaccine/booster appointments or the employee or family member is recovering from vaccine-related symptoms;
  • Caring for yourself: The employee is subject to a government-directed COVID-19 quarantine or isolation period, has been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Caring for a family member: The employee is caring for a family member subject to COVID-19 quarantine or isolation or has been medically advised to do so, or is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 on the premises.

A covered full-time employee may take up to an additional 40 hours of leave if unable to work or telework because the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is caring for a family member who tested positive.

Part-time employees may take comparable paid leave up to the number of hours they work over two weeks, with half of those hours available only when they or a family member test positive for COVID-19.

All eligible employees may take this paid leave even if they had received leave under previous California COVID supplemental paid leave laws.

Medical Certification:

Generally, an employer may not deny SPSL based solely on a lack of a health care provider’s certification, but the employer may require positive test results before paying any of the additional 40 hours. See FAQs Nos. 19 and 20 for more information.

Miscellaneous Provisions:

  • Payment is at the regular rate of pay, not to exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in total.
  • Employers must provide written notice to all employees, such as the Labor Commissioner’s model notice in English and Spanish.
  • Itemized wage statements must list SPSL hours used separately from regular paid sick leave.  If no hours have been used, then the line item must indicate 0. See FAQ No. 31 for more information.
  • Employers may not require the use of SPSL before providing Cal/OSHA exclusion pay.  This is a change from the 2021 SPSL law.  See FAQ No. 36 for more information.
  • Retaliation or discrimination against a covered employee requesting or using SPSL is strictly prohibited.

Take-Aways:  Covered California employers should review new section 248.6 and the accompanying FAQs to confirm compliance steps, including closely coordinating with payroll companies, distributing the model notices, and training managers on the new law.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
February 25, 2022

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