What you need to know about the New and not really Improved SPSL


By Molly Wood, SPHR, Senior HR Consultant

We have all been hearing about it for weeks, Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is coming back. But what are the details? Who and what does it cover? What kind of proof can employers ask for? And who is footing the bill for this endeavor?

On February 9, Governor Newsom signed AB 84, which will go into effect ten days after signing or February 19, although it’s retroactive to January 1, 2022, so that gives employers just ten days to prepare their procedures and answer employee questions.

As it did before its expiration in September 2021, SPSL will cover employers with 26 or more employees. Those employers will be required to pay up to 40 hours of sick leave for full-time employees (prorated for part-time employees) who are experiencing symptoms of COVID, who are caring for someone experiencing symptoms, those who have been advised to quarantine by a healthcare provider, or those with children whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID.

An additional 40 hours of sick leave must be provided for those who test positive for COVID or who are caring for a family member who tests positive for COVID. If an employee refuses to provide a positive test, the employer is under no obligation to pay the additional sick leave.

AB 84 also allows employers to limit paid time for people who are getting vaccines or boosters or caring for a family member who has a bad reaction to the vaccine or booster, to 24 hours unless there is medical certification stating that more time is needed.

As with the prior requirements, employers are obligated to pay up to $511 per day or up to $5,100 in the aggregate.

The big question that is now answered by the signing of the bill is who is paying for this? AB 84 says that the employers are essentially responsible for providing this additional paid leave and there will be no tax credit directly associated with SPSL. Businesses may be able to claim net operating deductions, but these tax issues are outside the realm of our expertise at SDEA. Contact your CPA to see if your business can benefit from the deductions allowed.

The requirement for how SPSL is represented on pay-stubs has also been updated, so hopefully your payroll provider is ready for that. Instead of showing SPSL balance, paystubs will need to show SPSL used.

SDEA is hosting a webinar on this update on Tuesday, February 15 at 1:00.  Click here to register

Remember SDEA members have unlimited consultation with our team of HR professionals to discuss next steps, get template forms, and/or lament our plight and hope for the day when COVID is history. Don’t hesitate to call, 858-505-0024.

Contact us: 858.505.0024