At the start of 2022, a new version of California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) was passed and initially planned to expire on September 31, 2022. But before it could expire, the legislature extended SPSL with some minor changes to continue through the end of 2022.
The question many employers have as the year runs out is, will SPSL be extended further?
The answer at this point is no. The California legislature did head back early for a special session, but thus far, no legislation has been proposed to extend the statewide SPSL. And in October, Governor Newsom announced a plan to end the COVID-19 State of Emergency on February 28, 2023, highlighting the state’s view of plan to move out of a crisis stage.
While it appears that the state SPSL will expire, there are still local COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave ordinances in effect in the Cities of Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles.
All of the ordinances except Long Beach specify they will expire 2 weeks after the “COVID-19 local emergency” expires, which is separate from the state of emergency. The Long Beach City Council will determine the sunset date based on quarterly reports from the City Manager. The City of Los Angeles has announced it will lift its state of emergency on February 1, 2023, which would mean the City of Los Angeles’ supplemental paid sick leave would expire on February 15, 2023. No other cities have indicated when they will lift their local emergency.
In addition to local SPSL, in October San Francisco voters passed a new Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO), which provides leave for employees of employers with 100 or more employees worldwide related to public health emergencies. Currently, COVID-19 continues to qualify as a public health emergency for purposes of the PHELO.
Jackson Lewis will continue to track leave laws that affect California employers. If you have questions about COVID-19 SPSL or related leave issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.