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AB 152 – Extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Through December 31, 2022; Establishes Relief Grant Program For Small Businesses And Nonprofits
On September 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 152 into law. The bill amends the Labor Code, making several important changes to how COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) is administered and also sets up a grant relief fund for small non-profits and other businesses with between 26-49 employees. The bill was designated as urgency legislation and therefore took effect immediately.
AB 152 makes two significant changes to SPSL. First, it extends the existing statutory leave rights. Prior to AB 152, statutory SPSL rights would have expired on September 30, 2022. AB 152 extends that expiration date to December 31, 2022. Importantly, the amendment does not provide employees with any additional SPSL but merely extends the period during which employees who have not exhausted their SPSL may use such leave. As a result, employers should continue to allow employees who have not exhausted their SPSL entitlements to use such leave for any qualifying reasons until the end of the year.
Second, AB 152 provides more authority for employers to require retesting before an employee returns to work. Where an employee is on leave after testing positive for COVID-19, prior law authorized employers to require a follow-up COVID-19 test on or after the fifth day following the initial positive test in order to expedite an end to the employee’s isolation and return to work. Under AB 152, if that follow-up test is also positive, employers may require the employee to retest within a period of no less than 24 hours. The bill also provides that if an employee refuses to submit to follow-up testing, or refuses to provide documentation of the results from such tests, the employer may lawfully deny the employee SPSL.
(AB 152 adds Sections 12100.96 through 12100.985 to the Government Code, amends Sections 248.6 and 248.7 of the Labor Code, and amends various provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code.)