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Volume XIII, Number 82


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The Expiration of California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

State Leave

The California State 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SB 114) expired on December 31, 2022. The law, which applied retroactively to January 1, 2022, was extended by Gov. Gavin Newsom from September 30 to December 31, 2022. Gov. Newsom did not extend the expiration date further. This means California employers do not have to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) anymore. The only exception is if an employee started the leave before the end of 2022, the employee is allowed to complete the leave even if the time extends into the new year.

Employers should take note, however, that after December 31, 2022, workers who were not paid the SPSL they were entitled to when they were unable to work due to COVID-19 during the covered period (January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022) can still request pay from their employer for that covered period of time. Employers will either have to add back paid time if an employee used any other paid time for the leave or pay for the time taken if it was unpaid.

Local Jurisdictions

Unfortunately, the state law is not the end of the enquiry when an employee goes home due to COVID-19 in 2023. Even though the state law has expired, employers in certain jurisdictions may still need to provide supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 absences under certain local ordinances. For example, the cities of Oakland, San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles still have such ordinances in place. The parameters and expiration dates on these local ordinances vary so employers should carefully review these ordinances to determine if they are still subject to any such ordinances.

Los Angeles City

Los Angeles City’s COVID-19 supplemental sick leave ordinance is set to expire two weeks after the City ends its COVID state of emergency. Los Angeles’s City Council has voted to end its COVID state of emergency on February 1. Therefore, the Los Angeles City supplemental COVID leave is set to expire on February 15, 2023. Note that this ordinance only applies to an employer that has either: (1) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (2) 2,000 or more employees within the United States.

California OSHA Requirements

Employers also should be aware that the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) had a requirement that employers provide exclusion pay if an employee had to be excluded from work because of a workplace COVID-19 exposure. Cal OSHA’s exclusion pay requirement is set to go away any day now as the emergency ETS is set to be replaced by a non-emergency ETS that has dropped this requirement. The emergency ETS is still officially in place as of today, but it will be gone soon but no later than the end of January.

Employer Takeaways

  • Employers should advise relevant staff of the changes to the law so that staff can be mindful of the changes going forward.

  • Employers should advise relevant staff of the obligation to provide paid leave for any qualifying COVID-19 sick leave that look place during the period of January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022 that was not paid.

  • Employers should be mindful of their local jurisdictional requirements with regard to sick leave and supplemental sick leave.

©2023 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 39

About this Author

Janella T. Gholian Employment Lawyer Katten Law Firm
Special Counsel

Janella Gholian focuses her litigation practice largely on labor and employment matters. She defends employers against actions of wrongful termination, discrimination, breach of contract and other issues. She also works with landlords defending them against ADA actions and helping them to comply with their regulations.

Good HR practices are the best defense against employee problems

Most of Janella's clients are located in California, so she is well-versed in the state's employment laws. She advises companies on the state's HR regulations regarding hiring, termination,...

Julie L. Gottshall, Employment Law Lawyer, Katten Muchin Law Firm

Julie L. Gottshall serves as the Chicago head of the Employment Law and Litigation practice. She practices nationally in the area of employment law, providing litigation representation and counseling on behalf of management.

Julie also represents both companies and individuals in matters relating to unfair competition and the enforcement of restrictive covenants, such as confidentiality and non-compete agreements. In addition to her litigation practice, Julie negotiates and drafts employment and separation agreements and restrictive covenant agreements, conducts...

Stacey Knight, partner, Katten Muchin Rosenman Law Firm

Stacey McKee Knight serves as national co-chair of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, and is a member of Katten's Board of Directors and the firm's Executive Committee. She concentrates her litigation practice in the areas of labor and employment law. Stacey has extensive class action experience and focuses primarily on wage and hour class actions and collective actions, including Fair Labor Standards Act, meal and rest period, donning and doffing, vacation and regular rate of pay claims at the state and federal levels. Stacey represents management in a variety of...

Sarah J Lee Los Angeles Employment Attorney Katten

Sarah J Lee is an Associate at Katten's Los Angeles office. She focuses her Employment Litigation and Counseling practice on wage and hour PAGA and class actions and single plaintiff employment litigation.

Sarah works with companies to conduct internal employment investigations into claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and hostile work environment. She has experience drafting employment agreements and reviewing deal memos. Sarah also represents clients in complex commercial litigation on various matters including contract...

Andrew J. Schuyler Litigation Attorney Katten Muchin Rosenman Chicago, IL

Andrew "AJ" Schuyler represents clients in a broad range of litigation issues, including employment matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. As a core member of Katten's Employment Litigation and Counseling practice, he also advises clients on day-to-day workplace issues such as compliance matters arising under various federal, state and local laws.

Effective and efficient solutions for clients' specific legal needs

AJ splits his focus between general litigation issues and specific employment matters, which gives him a different perspective for...