Since our last COVID-19 workplace policy update in February, there have been a number of significant changes. This week we’ll take a broad look at some of the changes that have come into effect since our last update.
April 2022 COVID-19 Workplace Laws Update
2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) laws were revived in February 2022, after the 2021 state leave laws expired on 30 September. The law applies retroactively to January 1, 2022, which means that employees who took eligible leave before the law came into effect can request payment for that leave if it was not paid by the employer.
The 2022 SPSL allows for two separate banks of leave, up to 40 hours each.
The first is available to covered employees who are unable to work or telework because they:
- Have been required to quarantine due to COVID-19 or they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a diagnosis, or
- Are caring for a family member who is quarantining or a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.
- Are attending or taking a family member to a vaccine appointment, or cannot work because they have vaccine-related symptoms or are caring for a family member with vaccine-related symptoms.
The second bank is available to employees who have tested positive to COVID-19, or who are caring for a family member who has tested positive.
The requirement to provide 2022 SPSL will end on September 30, 2022.
You can read more about the 2022 SPSL on the California Department of Industrial Relations FAQ page.
Executive Order Suspends Mask Mandates for Unvaccinated Employees
On February 28, Governor Newsom signed an executive order suspending the ETS rule requiring unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors (except in certain circumstances). This order was geared towards increasing consistency in the requirements outlined by Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) mask guidance.
However, employees are still required to wear masks in certain situations, including:
- If there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace;
- In employer-provided transportation;
- If they work in specified sectors, including (amongst other sectors) public transport, emergency shelters, healthcare settings, and state and local correctional facilities and detention centers.
- When ordered by the CDPH.
Employees may also request face coverings from an employer at no cost and can wear them at work, regardless of vaccination status, with no fear of retaliation.
If you’re uncertain about your obligations, reach out. Our employment attorneys would love to assist.
Want to learn more about workplace compliance? See our tips for navigating minimum wage:
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