COVID sick pay: California governor signs law to bring back paid sick leave through Sept. 2022

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Wednesday to bring back COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave through September 30, 2022. 

The signing follows on the heels of Monday's action by the California Legislature, which passed the bill requiring many companies to give workers up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus

The package of legislation also includes tax cuts for businesses and another $1.9 billion in taxpayer money to address the pandemic.

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The legislation would apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees, similar to the law created in 2021 that provided 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave, which expired on Sept. 30.

Employers would be required to provide up to 40 hours of flexible paid COVID-19 sick leave for full-time workers who are sick or caring for an ill loved one. It would also require employees to provide proof of a positive test to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid time off. Part-time workers would be eligible for sick leave equal to the number of hours they typically work in a week.

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Additionally, the COVID-19 sick leave would be retroactive and cover COVID-related absences since Jan. 1, 2022.

This new law will make California the fourth state to require paid time off for workers who get sick with the coronavirus. Similar mandates are still in effect in Massachusetts, Colorado and New York, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Five other states — Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington — have paid sick leave laws that, while not COVID-specific, can be used cover time off from the coronavirus.

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