- Payton Employment Law
Did You Miss Work Due to COVID-19 in 2022? How AB 152 May Help You Recover Lost Pay
Even though the federal national emergency and public health emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are set to end on May 11, 2023, many are still experiencing the impact of the pandemic, which is why it’s crucial to stay informed about the resources available for aid. If you were unable to work in 2022 due to COVID-19 and didn't receive supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL), you may be able to request pay from your employer or file a claim to recover such pay.
Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 152, which expanded the obligation of employers with 26 or more employees to provide COVID-19 SPSL through December 31, 2022. This means that you may still be eligible to recover pay for any missed SPSL.
How to know if you’re covered.
Under Assembly Bill (AB) 152, all employers, public or private, with 26 or more employees were required to offer SPSL to their employees from January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022. An employee was eligible for COVID-19 SPSL if they had COVID-19, was required to quarantine, or had to care for a family member who was instructed by a medical professional to stay home due to COVID-19.
There are two categories of leave that an employee may qualify for under the SPSL:
For any COVID-19-related reason, such as quarantine or isolation.
If the employee or a family member tested positive for COVID-19.
This extension allows employees to use the unused leave that they acquired in 2022 and be paid for it in 2023. However, it's important to note that acquired leave must be continuous from 2022 to use it in 2023, and any leave not requested before December 31, 2022, does not roll over.
If you're a full-time employee working a standard 40 hours a week, in 2022, you were entitled to 40 hours of SPSL for yourself and 40 hours of SPSL for a qualifying family member who tested positive for COVID-19. The SPSL requires the employer to pay you at your regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave was taken.
What to know about requesting pay from your employer.
If you, an eligible employee, took leave in 2022 for the qualifying reasons under AB 152, you have the right to ask your employer for a retroactive payment equal to the required amount you are owed. Here’s what that process might look like:
You must make an oral or written request for COVID-19 leave.
Your employer may require documentation that includes:
a medical record of the test result,
an email or text from the testing company with the test result,
a picture of the test result, or
a contemporaneous text or email from the employee to the employer stating that the employee or the qualifying family member tested positive for COVID-19.
Remember, if your employer requires you to take a COVID-19 test, they must pay for or provide the COVID-19 test at no cost to you.
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