February 14, 2022 CAPS Alert

Due to the unprecedented workplace impacts from COVID-19, this CAPS Alert is being sent to all State Scientists in Unit 10. CAPS is continuing the effort to ensure the Unit stays informed by providing these updates to all (member and nonmember alike). These communications are a privilege typically reserved for CAPS members, but your CAPS Board of Directors believes that this information is too important to withhold from nonmembers. Today would be a good time to support Bargaining Unit 10 by joining CAPS. Thank you for supporting CAPS!

The State of California Lifts Mask Mandates as of February 16, 2022. In a memo received by CAPS on February 10, CalHR has provided additional guidance to departments surrounding masks and other face coverings as a result of the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health. The guidance is as follows:

Generally, masks are required for:

  • All unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses.
  • All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in certain indoor settings (public transit; K-12 schools; childcare; emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers; healthcare settings; correctional facilities and detention centers; homeless shelters; and long term care settings and adult and senior care facilities.)
  • State employees who do not provide verification of vaccination shall be required to wear a mask in indoor settings or in vehicles.
  • Employees working in a county where the local health jurisdiction issues a stricter public health ordinance tailored for the situation in their communities should continue to follow the local public health ordinance related to masks. Please continue to monitor local public health announcements in counties where you have offices and employees.
  • Additionally, workplaces are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD). The ETS requires employers to provide face coverings to all employees who are not fully vaccinated and to ensure they are worn when indoors or in vehicles. The ETS provides limited exceptions to wearing a face covering, including when employees are alone in a room or vehicle, when employees have a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask, or employees who are hearing-impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person.

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave 2022. Section 2127 of the HR Manual has been updated to reflect the implementation of SB 114, COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave that the Governor signed on February 9, 2022. Here are the highlights of the newly-signed SB 114:

  • COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) is retroactive to January 1, 2022. The requirement for covered employers to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave takes effect 10 days after the date of enactment of the bill (February 9, 2022) and would apply these provisions retroactively to January 1, 2022, as specified.
  • SB 114 SPSL is separate from all previous COVID-19 sick leave benefits. The employer shall make this leave available to eligible employees upon the oral or written request of the employee to the employer.
  • SB 114, which creates new Labor Code section 248.6, provides supplemental paid sick leave (SB 114 SPSL) to all employees for the reasons listed in the section below.
  • Employees may be eligible to take up to 40 hours of SB 114 SPSL if they are unable to work or telework due to any of the following reasons:
  • The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidance of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local public health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace.
  • If the employee is subject to more than one of the above, the covered employee shall be permitted to use COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for the minimum quarantine or isolation period under the order or guidance that provides the longest period; or
  • The employee is advised by a health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine due to a COVID-19 concern or tests positive; or
  • The employee is attending an appointment for themselves or a family member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevents the employee from being able to work or telework; or
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms or is caring for a family member related to a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine booster that prevents the employee from being able to work or telework; or
  • For each vaccine or vaccine booster, paid sick leave for this purpose may be limited to three days or 24 hours unless the employee provides verification from a health care provider that the covered employee or their family member is continuing to experience symptoms. The limitation includes any time used under number 3 above to obtain the vaccine.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • The employee is caring for a family member who is subject to an order or guidance under number 1 or who has been advised to isolate or quarantine under number 2; or
  • The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.
  • Additionally, SB 114 allows the department to require employees who have tested positive to submit to a diagnostic test on or after the fifth day after the initial COVID-19 test was taken and provide documentation of these results. Importantly, in such a circumstance, the department shall make such a test available at no cost to the employee. Such test shall not be done at the worksite.
  • The SB 114 SPSL expires on September 30, 2022, except that a covered employee taking SB 114 SPSL at the time of expiration shall be permitted to take the full amount without interruption to which the employee otherwise would have been entitled in the section above.

You can read the text of the CalHR Guidance in the CalHR Manual.

Stay informed. Stay safe. Follow the guidance of public health officials.