State Extends Covid Sick Leave

Written by Andrew Morris

In light of recent COVID spikes, the state of California has extended mandatory paid sick leave requirements for small and large businesses.

Since the previous leave requirements expired back in September, workers have been asking for its reinstatement. “As the Omicron surge intensified, workers screamed from the rooftops about the desperate need to reinstate COVID paid sick leave,” states California Labor Federation’s Executive Secretary and Treasurer Art Pulaski. “The governor and Legislature heard frontline workers loud and clear, and we appreciate them acting with urgency to get this done. Once again California shows it’s a national leader on worker protections and COVID mitigation.”

The policy mandates that organizations with more than 25 employees give paid leave not only to sick workers, but also arranges for vaccine appointments or treatment of sick family members.

With significant fraud occurring throughout previous months, the state is also mandating proof of a positive test to extend paid leave past 40 work hours, as well as even stricter limitations for vaccine treatments. 

Alternatively, the paid leave puts significant strain on smaller businesses that don’t have the necessary resources to simultaneously be out an employee and forced to pay for their leave in full. Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), who voted against the bill, voiced his opposition to it because it hurts small business.

“This policy that is being rushed through the Legislature needs a tremendous amount more debate and discussion,” he said. “This proposal is going to layer additional costs and burdens on top of an already difficult business environment.”

Once the bill goes into effect, the mandate will last till September 30th for COVID relief.

Photo Cred: Fox 11 Los Angeles