21 Feb 2022
February 21, 2022

Covid 19 UPDATE for 2022 and Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Extended

February 21, 2022 0 Comment
Cal/Osha recently updated and clarified its Emergency Temporary Standards (the “ETS”) which inform employers how to handle cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. Here are some of the highlights.

Exclusion Pay: An employee who was excluded from work because of a workplace COVID-19 exposure should receive exclusion pay if: 1) the employee was not assigned to telework during that time; and 2) the employee did not receive Disability Payments or Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability Payments during the exclusion period.

Face Coverings: California Department of Public Health (CDPH) currently requires face coverings in all indoor workplaces and other indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. There are some exceptions, such as when alone in a room or vehicle, or when eating and drinking. Face coverings must be tightly woven facbric or non-woven material of at least two layers that does not let light pass when held up to a light source. These CDPH rules are effective through February 15, 2022. If the CDPH does not extend the rules, employers may allow fully vaccinated employees to work indoors without a face covering, but vaccination status must be documented and recorded by the employer.

Testing rules: Employers must offer testing at no cost to employees during paid time to the following employees:
— Symptomatic unvaccinated employees, regardless of exposure.
— All employees who have had close contact with a COVID-19 case, regardless of vaccination status (except for those who have recently recovered)
— All employees if there has been an outbreak (3 or more cases) or major outbreak (20 or more cases)
— When following the Isolation and Quarantine guidance set forth below.
— If an at-home test is used, the employer or a telehealth professional must observe the test. If an individual cannot be tested, they must wear a face covering and physically distance from other employees for 14 days.
Isolation and Quarantine Rules are now as follows:
Supplemental Sick Leave Returns
Governor Newsom just signed legislation to reactivate the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave rules for those who contract COVID-19. The law applies to employers with 26 or more employees and is retroactive to January 1, 2022. Full time employees will be entitled to 40 hours of flexible paid leave if they or a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19. Employees can get an additional 40 hours of paid leave for other covered reasons such as quarantine or isolation, vaccine appointments or recovery, experiencing COVID symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis, etc.

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