Breaking News! Approved on September 29, 2022, California has amended the original Bill 152 that allows employees job protection if on leave for reasons related to COVID-19. This was set to expire on September 30th but has been extended through December 31, 2022.

Bill 152 also allows employers to require additional COVID testing in certain circumstances and applies to employers with 26+ employees. California has included a grant program within this bill that reimburses the qualifying small businesses and nonprofits for the SPSL costs. For those who have already utilized the cap of 80 total hours, this does not provide you with more hours, but extends the timeframe for others to use it. You have until January 1, 2023 to take those hours, meaning it can start on December 31.

Regarding the testing requirements, employees have the right for up to 40 hours of the standard SPSL for any COVID- related reason and access the additional 40 hours if they or a family member tests positive. Also, for the employee using the Positive Test SPSL, employers can now require three COVID tests to provide documentation for the legitimacy of the leave. The second test can be submitted at least 5 days later to continue the SPSL, and the third one can be asked for 24 hours or more after the second test.

The grant program is still available for small businesses and nonprofits with 26-49 Full-Time Employees to apply for a reimbursement of up to $50,000 for SPSL costs in 2022. For additional information and eligibility criteria, please check out the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Review your own company’s policy and make sure employees know what is available to them. See the Full article here.