Supplemental paid sick leave was authorized recently by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which grants employees up to two weeks of COVID-19 leave effective Feb. 19.
Assembly Bill 84 requires California employers with over 25 employees to provide up to two weeks of paid COVID-19 leave. Under the new deal negotiated by Newsom and California Legislature, paid leave will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022, and extended through Sept. 30, 2022.
Full-time employees are eligible for up to 40 hours of paid sick leave but must show proof that they or a family member tested positive for COVID-19.
The state had a similar last year, but it expired in September.
The legislation will provide over $6.1 billion in economic relief for businesses. According to Newsom, reevaluation will come to provide further relief to businesses as needed if funds do not suffice.
However, recent figures from California’s Employment Development Department show the vast majority of businesses in California have four or fewer employees.
According to Newsom, California has seen a 65 percent reduction in COVID-19 cases since January's peak, averaging approximately 37,000 new cases within the last seven days.
In addition to COVID-19 sick pay, lawmakers agreed to spend $1.9 billion earlier in the week on things like coronavirus testing, vaccine distribution, and increasing staffing at hospitals.
That money is expected to be reimbursed by the federal government, according to Newsom.