California has passed a Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (SPSL) that provides up to 80 hours of COVID-related sick leave for employees in both the public and private sector. The law applies to all California employees who work for employers with more than 25 employees and covers leaves taken between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
Employers must pay the covered employee for attending a vaccine appointment or cannot work or telework due to vaccine-related symptoms.
You can ask employees for proof that they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine, but you need to be careful about how you ask for it and what you do with the information.
You should ask employees to provide proof that only includes their name, the date of vaccine (and whether first or second dose, if applicable), and, if necessary, their provider's name. Asking for anything more than that could turn a simple request into a disability-related inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and should therefore be avoided.
You should also ensure that this information is kept confidential, along with any explanations about why an employee is not vaccinated. We recommend against asking employees why they are not vaccinated, but if you are mandating vaccines, this will likely come up when one or more employees indicate that they need an exception to your policy.
Finally, make sure that you don’t discriminate against employees who aren’t vaccinated because of their religious beliefs or disabilities. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects these characteristics and requires that you make reasonable accommodations for employees whose religious beliefs or disabilities prevent them from complying with your policies.
If you need assistance with maneuvering through all the COVID regulations or anything else, please feel free to reach out to us. firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 361-5385
We are a team of certified HR experts based out of the San Francisco Bay Area that provides HR consulting services to businesses nationwide.