Employers should be aware that the expiration deadline for the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) entitlement is September 30, 2021. The statute states that employees taking SPSL at the time of expiration are permitted to take the full amount of their SPSL eligibility. Furthermore, employers may still be liable for past failures to provide SPSL during the eligibility period.
While SPSL is ending, employers should be aware that they are still required to pay “exclusion pay” in circumstances described in the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard. There may also be local paid leave requirements to consider under applicable local orders. Additionally, employees may qualify to use regular sick leave for “kin care.” In certain cases where the employee or the employee’s family member has a ‘serious health condition’ the employee may be entitled to leave under the California Family Rights Act or the Family and Medical Leave Act. Finally, employers with vacation or paid-time-off policies should consider notifying employees of the availability of such time for COVID-19-related reasons.
President Biden’s vaccine mandate is expected to be drafted in a matter of weeks and to include leave for vaccination. Also, Congressional or state legislative action is always possible. Finally, employers should be on the lookout for future administrative rulemaking.
For questions concerning your business’ compliance with COVID-19 leave requirements, please contact the attorneys at Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland, P.C.