On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newson and state lawmakers reached an agreement to require employers to provide workers with up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to recover from COVID-19 or care for a family member, per The Los Angeles Times.
- Proof of a positive COVID-19 test will be required to qualify.
- This would apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees. A law that provided 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave expired in Sept. 30.
- The new legislature will require companies across California to absorb the costs of additional paid time off, which is why the agreement includes two proposals to restore tax credits that were suspended and capped two years ago.
“California’s ability to take early budget action will protect workers and provide real relief to businesses reeling from this latest surge,” Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said in a statement.
- “By extending sick leave to frontline workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce, while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive.”
- “We will continue to work to address additional needs of small businesses through the budget — they are the backbone of our communities and continue to be impacted by COVID-19.”
Cal Chamber president and CEO Jennifer Barrera said that the policy should be more balanced, in a statement, per Cal Matters.
- “Employers are committed to the safety of their employees and the workplace and are well aware of the broad public health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Barrera said in a statement.
- “But elected leaders must ensure a balanced policy so that private sector employers, who are also struggling to remain afloat during these surges and the broader pandemic, are not unfairly shouldering the cost of COVID-19.” be limited in duration, have “reasonable parameters” and shouldn’t overly burden businesses.
“The Omicron surge is making workers risk losing their jobs or going to work sick,” tweeted the California Labor Federation, which is made up of more than 1,200 unions representing workers in manufacturing, retail, hospitality, health care and other sectors, per KTLA.