On February 9th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 84, which covers employers with 26 or more employees for up to 80 hours. This legislation should seem very familiar to California employers, as it is structured very similarly to 2021’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave program, which ran from March to September of last year and provided additional hours of sick leave to eligible businesses.
Employers should note that the hours are split into two separate portions, or ‘banks’, for employees to use in case of potential exposure to COVID-19. The first bank of 40 hours is provided if employees are unable to work for the following qualified reasons:
• The employee, or a family member in their care, is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidance from a government organization or a local public health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace.
• The employee, or a family member in their care, has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
• The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
• The covered employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
Additionally, employees can qualify for an additional 40 hours if the employee tested positive for COVID-19 or is caring for a family member who tested positive. To qualify for the additional 40 hours, employers may require transparency on an additional positive test for the individual with COVID-19 on day five after the initial test. If an employee refuses to test or disclose tests for themselves or a family member, they are NOT entitled to this second bank.
Vaccine or booster shots are also covered under this rule, which includes the following conditions:
• The employee is attending an appointment for themselves, or a family member in their care, to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.
• The employee is experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevent the employee from working or teleworking.
Employees may be limited to 24 hours of Supplemental Paid Leave per shot unless a medical certification is provided to request additional time.
HR Mobile Services, Inc. has already provided documentation to its customers relating to this law and what it means for employers across the state. With this in mind, it’s important that employers are aware of the conditions of the law, as it goes into effect on February 19th, 2022. Everything listed in this article is retroactive to the first of the year under the law, so any employees that have already requested time off for reasons listed above may be eligible.
For any additional information as this law rolls out and details on required postings, please contact James Vander Tuig at our office at 877-734-7677.