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Newsom, California Lawmakers Reach Deal To Bring Back COVID Sick Pay

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With COVID-19 cases still at record highs in California, lawmakers have reached a deal to bring back COVID sick pay for workers through the end of September.

Supplemental paid sick leave for California workers, which applied to businesses with 26 or more employees, had expired last September. But with COVID infections fueled by the Omicron variant at a new high, labor unions and workers had called for its return so people who tested positive could afford to stay home.

Tuesday's deal, which would be retroactive to Jan. 1, will require employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave to full-time workers who are sick or caring for a loved one. Proof of a positive test would be required to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid leave. The deal provides sick leave equal to the number of hours a part-time worker would usually work in a week, or twice that amount with a positive test.

"By extending sick leave to frontline workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can protect the health of our workforce, while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

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