On February 19, 2022, the newest statewide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave took effect.
California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has published an FAQ Page to provide guidance regarding COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL).
The new FAQ page covers questions pertaining to the following:
- Reasons for Taking Leave
- Start Date and End Date
- Requesting Leave from An Employer
- Calculating an Employee’s Hours of Leave
- Permissive Limits on Use and Verification
- Payment of Leave, Record-Keeping, and Paystubs
- Relation to Other Laws
There is some information in the FAQs that employers should take special note of.
Retroactive payments are only required if the covered employee requests retroactive time for qualified absences prior to February 19, 2022.
Employers may request documentation if the employee is requesting retroactive leave for the employee or a qualifying family member testing positive for COVID-19.
This documentation could include, among other things, a medical record of the test result, an e-mail or text from the testing company with the results, a picture of the test result, or a contemporaneous text or e-mail from the employee to the employer stating that the employee or a qualifying family member tested positive for COVID-19.
If retroactive payment is being sought from the hours that an employee may use for any other qualifying reason employer may not deny a worker 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave based solely on a lack of certification from a health care provider.
The itemized wage statement or separate writing requirement ensures covered employees understand how many separate hours they have used for 2022 COVID-specific sick leave. The 2022 SPSL differs from the 2021 SPSL in that the paystub must list what has been used instead of what is available to use. If no hours have yet been used then the paystub or other writing issued at the time wages are paid must indicate 0.
In addition, Labor Code Section 247.5 requires that records be kept for a three-year period on regular paid sick days and 2022 SPSL days accrued and used and that the records be made available to the Labor Commissioner or employee upon request.
Under California law, employers are required to display the required poster about 2022 SPSL in a place at the worksite where employees can easily read it.
If an employer’s covered employees do not frequent a workplace, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by disseminating notice through electronic means.
If you have questions about 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.