LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With COVID-19 cases still at record highs in California, lawmakers have reached an agreement to bring COVID sickness benefits back to workers by the end of September.
Supplemental paid sick leave for California workers, which applied to companies with 26 or more employees, had expired in September last year. But with COVID infections driven by the Omicron variant at a new high, unions and workers had called for a return so that people tested positive could afford to stay home.
With Omicron rising in California and the potential in other variants just around the corner, we can not waste any time reinstating COVID-paid sick leave.#CAleg & @ CAguvernør @GavinNewsomLet’s get #PaidSickDaysNow Done! pic.twitter.com/pVyo4ezHCV
– California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) January 25, 2022
Tuesday’s agreement, which will have retroactive effect until January 1, will require employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave to full-time employees who are sick or caring for a relative. Proof of a positive test would be required to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid leave. The agreement provides sick leave equal to the number of hours a part-time employee would normally work in a week, or double that amount with a positive test.
“By extending sick leave to frontline employees with COVID and providing support to businesses in California, we can protect the health of our workforce while ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a declaration.