Is paid sick leave for COVID-19 coming back to California? Newsom responds

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Plans to bring back COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for California residents are being considered in Sacramento, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Newsom revealed that discussions about supplemental leave were underway during a press conference in Bakersfield on Tuesday, saying to reporters present “we’re working on it.”

“We’ve had direct conversation a few days ago on this topic to pursue new sick leave legislation,” said Newsom. “It’s an early action top priority both for our office and legislative leaders.”

The last paid sick leave for COVID-19 expired on Sep. 30, 2021. It previously required employers with 26 or more employees to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons, which included caring for yourself, a family member, or a COVID-19 vaccine-related reason. It also covered pay for caring for a child whose school or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19 on the premises.

Paid sick leave was a part of a $2.7 billion COVID-19 emergency package revealed on Saturday by the governor’s office, citing the Omicron variant as a reason for the policy’s revival.

Data from the California Department of Public Health shows a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past month.

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