Newsom to call for new COVID paid sick leave for Californians

Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to push for new legislation to revive additional paid sick leave policies as part of a $ 2.7 billion coronavirus response program.

The Newsom administration presented a preview of the package over the weekend, saying the governor will request additional paid sick leave for COVID-19, “given the current situation caused by the Omicron variant to better protect our frontline workers “.

The governor’s office did not share details on what the new sick leave policies would look like, or what Newsom will ask of the state legislature.

California previously had a COVID-19 additional paid sick leave law, but it expired on September 30, 2021.

The law, signed by Newsom in March 2021, required all employers with 26 or more employees to provide 80 hours of paid COVID-19 sick leave.

It aimed to make sure workers don’t show up for work when they are potentially infected, or miss getting vaccinated because they don’t want to take time off.

Under the now-expired law, employees were paid sick leave if they couldn’t work because they had to quarantine or self-isolate, or because they had appointments to do so. vaccinated against COVID-19 or had symptoms related to the vaccine. It also applied to employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis, or caring for family members with the virus.

It’s unclear whether the new sick leave policies would mirror those that expired last year.

The governor is set to offer paid sick leave as the state sees an omicron-fueled outbreak of COVID-19 and health officials are urging Californians to roll up their sleeves to get their boosters.

Task forces, like the California Labor Federation, have called on the legislature to restore paid time off.

“Omicron’s push puts workers at risk of losing their jobs or going to work sick,” tweeted the California Federation of Labor, which is made up of over 1,200 unions representing workers in manufacturing, retail, hospitality, health care and others.

Newsom’s $ 2.7 billion COVID-19 emergency response program also includes $ 1.2 billion to boost testing capacity and $ 583 million to vaccinate and boost more Californians and 614 millions of dollars to support frontline workers and health systems, among other expenses.

“From day one, California has taken swift and direct action to fight COVID-19 with policies that have saved tens of thousands of lives, but there is still work to be done,” Newsom said in a report. communicated.

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