FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Employees in California will still be able to get COVID-19 sick pay until the end of this year.

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 152, which extended the current COVID-19 paid sick leave to December 31, 2022.

Full-time employees of companies with at least 26 workers will still be able to use 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.

The previous law, which was passed in February, was set to expire on September 30 of this year.

The bill also introduced new requirements employees will need to follow to qualify for COVID-19 paid sick leave.

To qualify for paid sick leave, employees will be required to provide documentation of a positive test result.

If the test is positive, employees will have to submit a second test within no less than 24 hours. Both tests will have to be provided by the employer at no cost to the employee.

While the COVID-19 paid leave has been extended, employers are not required to give out any new sick hours related to the virus. If employees have already used all of their COVID-19 paid sick leave this year, they will have to use non-COVID-related sick pay or vacation hours to cover their absence.

With the signing of the bill, the California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Program has also been established within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

The program will help small businesses and nonprofits that have been struggling to keep up with the costs of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.

Small businesses or nonprofits that are qualified will be able to get grants until December 31, 2022.