EAC Update: California’s AB 152 Extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and Provides Small Business Relief

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Employer Advisory Council of Orange County, Inc.

EAC Update


California's AB 152 Extends COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and Provides Small Business Relief

Update Provided by

Iris L. Kristoff, Jennifer S. Grock

Atkinson, Anderson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

October 4, 2022

On September 29, 2022, California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill 152 (“AB 152”) into law, extending the Golden State’s existing 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“SPSL”) law through the end of 2022. The law also provides for a grant program to assist qualified small businesses and non-profits that are incurring costs associated with providing mandatory SPSL to eligible employees. 

  • Under the prior 2022 SPSL law, covered employers were required to provide (1) up to 40 hours of SPSL to eligible full-time employees who were unable to work or telework due to certain COVID-19-related reasons, as well as (2) a second allotment of up to 40 more SPSL hours if the employee or a family member for whom they are caring tests positive for COVID-19, through the law’s September 30, 2022 expiration date. (See our prior alert for more information on the prior 2022 SPSL law.)  Effective immediately, AB 152 extends existing SPSL entitlements through December 31, 2022, but does not provide additional leave time for employees who previously exhausted available COVID-19 SPSL.
  • Under the prior 2022 SPSL law, employers were not required to provide the “testing positive” allotment of SPSL to an employee if they or a family member for whom they are caring tested positive, unless the employee provided documentation of the initial, positive COVID-19 test result.  Further, the prior law authorized employers to require an employee who tested positive and used SPSL to submit to a 2nd test on or after the 5th day after the first positive test, at no cost to the employee, and to provide documentation of those results. In situations where the 2nd test is positive, AB 152 now allows employers to require the employee to submit to a  3rddiagnostic test within no less than 24 hours, at no cost to the employee.  Employers may deny SPSL to an employee who refuses to submit to this COVID-19 testing.

Small Business and Non-Profit Relief Program

To help qualified small businesses and non-profits that are incurring the costs associated with providing mandatory SPSL, AB 152 establishes the California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program (the “Grant Program”) within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (known as “GO-Biz”). The Grant Program provides qualified small businesses and nonprofit organizations with grants of up to $50,000 but “no more than the actual costs incurred for” SPSL paid between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

The grants are available to businesses that have provided COVID-19 SPSL pursuant to Section 248.6 and 248.7 of the California Labor Code and that: 

  • Are incorporated as a “C” corporation, “S” corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnerships, or limited partnership or registered as a 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19);
  • Began operation before June 1, 2021;
  • Are currently in active operation; and
  • Have 26 to 49 employees.

The Grant Program entails additional restrictions and requirements and remains in effect only until January 1, 2024. 

California employers should not hesitate to contact the authors or your usual employment and/or business counsel for compliance assistance with COVID-19 testing and supplemental paid sick leave requirements, as well as eligibility and qualification assistance in connection with available small business and non-profit grant relief.

Reprinted with permission from AALRR.

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(714) 794-4253

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