Senate Bill 114: What You Need To Know
The California State Senate just passed a bill authorizing supplemental COVID-19-related paid sick leave. Senate Bill 114 requires businesses to provide up to two additional weeks of paid sick leave for their workers. This bill gives employees paid time off if they’re sick with COVID-19 or need the time off to care for a family member with COVID-19.
It applies to all workers who have been employed by the company for 30 days or more and supplements the paid sick leave they already receive. SB 114 is similar to past legislation that expired in September 2021 and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Newsom.
When Does the Law Apply (Back to the Future?)
- Beginning January 1, 2022 until September 30, 2022.
To What Employer Does The Law Apply?
- Employer that employs more than 25 employees.
To What Employee Does The Law Apply?
- Full time employees
- Work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the two weeks preceding.
- It only applies to the total number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work each week (for employees with a routine weekly schedule).
- Employees who work a variable amount of hours each week will receive an amount based on seven times their average hours worked each day for the six months preceding their sick leave. If they have worked for their employer for less than six months and more than seven days, the amount is calculated using the entire period their employer covered them.
- A period of seven days or fewer, the total number of hours the covered employee has worked for that employer.
What Are Covid Related Reasons?
Employees who are unable to work or telework due to certain reasons related to COVID-19, including:
- Employees subject to a quarantine or isolation period are permitted to use COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for the longest such minimum period.
- Advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
- Is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19, subject to the limitation in clause (ii) of subparagraph (D).*
- Experiencing symptoms, or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms, related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevents the employee from being able to work or telework.
- Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Caring for a family member who is advised to isolate or quarantine.
- Whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
*An employer may limit the total COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to 3 days or 24 hours unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that continuing to experience symptoms
What are the Employee’s Rights?
- Employees can take up to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave but shall not exceed 80 hours for the period between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022.
- Test positive for COVID-19 more than 40 hours: Employees can take up to 40 more hours if tests come back positive for COVID-19. Employees do not have to use the first 40 hours to qualify for the extra 40 hours granted.
What is the Employer’s Rights?
- An employer may limit to 3 days or 24 hours unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider.
- If that employee tests positive, Employer authorized to require the employee to submit to another test on or after the fifth day, after the first positive test and provide documentation of those results.
- No obligation to provide additional COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave if the employee refuses to provide documentation of a test result.
- An employer shall not be required to pay more than five hundred eleven dollars ($511) per day and five thousand one hundred ten dollars ($5,110) in the aggregate to a covered employee.
What Rate of Compensation?
For nonexempt covered employees, by one of the following:
(I) Regular rate of pay for the workweek.
(II) Total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total non-overtime hours worked in the full pay periods occurring within the prior 90 days of employment;
i. Employees paid by piece rate, commission or other method that uses all hours to determine the regular rate of pay, total wages, not including overtime premium pay, shall be divided by all hours.
For exempt employees
(I) Shall be calculated in the same manner as other forms of paid leave time.
When to Talk to an Employment Lawyer
Under SB 114, employees have the right to paid sick leave if they or a family member contracts COVID-19. Businesses that don’t follow the rules of this bill are in violation, and there are legal steps you can take against them.
If you need help understanding your employee rights or are dealing with an employment dispute, talking with an employment lawyer can help. Consider hiring Berberian Ain.
Our employment lawyers will investigate any workplace violation you face and advise you through the entire legal process. We can help settle disputes with businesses through mediation or file a claim in court if more decisive legal action is needed.
We’ll fight on your behalf to get the result you deserve. Our firm works on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to pay us until we win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation about your employment claim.