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Regulatory Roundup February 2022

March 09, 2022

Read about California’s new supplemental paid sick leave law, West Virginia’s new unemployment insurance wage base, and more in this month's roundup.

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Despite being the shortest month of the year, February still saw several legislative updates, all at the state level. Read about them in this month’s edition of the Regulatory Roundup.

California Introduces New Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On February 9, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring employers to provide COVID-19-related Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL). Though effective as of February 19, 2022, the bill has a retroactive date effective of January 1, 2022. It will remain effective until September 30, 2022.

The legislation requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide SPSL to their “covered” employees. A covered employee is anyone unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19, such as being sick with COVID-19, having to quarantine after exposure, or caring for a family member with COVID-19. Eligible full-time employees may be entitled to up to 80 hours of SPSL in total based on the new 2022 requirements.

West Virginia Lowers Wage Base

In mid-February, West Virginia announced that the state’s unemployment taxable wage base would be lowered from $12,000 to $9,00 for 2022. The state’s unemployment insurance contribution rates will range from 1.5% to 8.5%. Any employer with a negative balance will see an additional 1.0% surtax with a total ranging from 6.5% to 8.5%, including the surtax. Additionally, the new employer rate for most employers will continue to be 2.7% for employees and 8.5% for foreign contractors.

Washington State Passes New SOC Reporting Law

Finally, in late February, Washington State announced that beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022, all employers must report Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes in their quarterly unemployment insurance reports. SOC is a system used by federal agencies to classify workers into different occupational categories to collect, calculate, and disseminate data. Employers that fail to report the SOC code of any of their workers will be subject to penalties ranging from $75 to $250.

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