California's Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) law, which provides for 80 hours of paid leave for employees dealing with various COVID-19-related issues, is set to expire on September 30, 2021. Absent legislative action or an executive order, September 30 will be the end of mandatory paid COVID-19 leave under California law. But beware: Local ordinances will remain.

As explained in our previous blog, since the law was enacted, California employers with 25 or more employees have been required to provide employees in the state with 80 hours of paid sick leave for a variety of COVID-19-related absences. SPSL comes before, and is in addition to, other paid leave.

The law was retroactive to January 1, 2021, with a sunset of September 30, 2021. As of this writing, that sunset remains. Employees who are on SPSL as of September 30 are entitled to remain on SPSL until their 80 hours are exhausted, but no new requests for SPSL need be entertained after September 30.

A number of California's cities and counties have enacted legislation requiring paid sick leave for COVID-related absences for employees in those locales, including the Counties of Los Angeles and Sonoma, and the Cities of Oakland and Long Beach. While the expiration of California SPSL may come as welcome relief to some companies, they should check their city and county ordinances to ensure proper compliance with local regulations that may be applicable.

The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.

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