Amendments to West Hollywood’s Minimum Wage and Paid Leave Ordinance Take Effect July 1

On November 15, 2021, the West Hollywood city council enacted an ordinance that establishes a local minimum wage, and requires employers to provide paid and unpaid leave benefits. On May 16, 2022, the city council approved amendments to the ordinance and published Administrative Regulations (637879708613130000 (weho.org)) regarding the law, discussed below.

The ordinance’s minimum wage and leave benefits are restricted to only hourly, non-exempt, employees. There are also exceptions available for unionized employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement. 

Minimum Wage Requirements

The ordinance includes minimum wage increases for regular employees and employees who work for hotels. 

The minimum wage requirements for hotel employers (defined as a person who owns, controls, or operates a hotel in West Hollywood) took effect on January 1, 2022. For other covered employers, the minimum wage will take effect July 1, 2022.

The ordinance provides for different minimum wage rates for the first two years based on how many employees a business employs, 50 or more, or 49 or less, U.S. employees, and will increase every six months:

See: Minimum Wage | City of West Hollywood (weho.org)

To determine business size, the ordinance looks to the average number of employees employed per quarter during the most recent calendar year. For new employers, the size determination is based upon the actual number of hires at the time of opening.

Paid and Unpaid Leave Requirements 

The law requires covered employers to provide both paid and unpaid leave time to qualifying employees for sick leave, vacation, or personal necessity reasons. For hotel employers, the leave provisions were effective January 1, 2022. For others, the leave provisions take effect on July 1, 2022.

Employees begin to accrue paid and unpaid leave upon their first day of employment, but are not eligible to use accrued leave until after the 120th day of employment or the date set per company policy, if earlier. However, compensated leave designated as sick leave must be made available to employees no later than the 90th day of their employment.

The law also requires that employers pay out any unused compensated leave designated as vacation or personal necessity leave to the employee upon separation or termination of employment. Compensated leave classified as sick leave is not, however, required to be paid out upon termination. 

Compensated Leave

A full-time employee must accrue at least 96 hours of paid leave per year – with accrual based on weekly hours worked up to, but not exceeding, 40 – with part-time employees accruing a proportionate amount. (Alternatively, a covered employer may choose to front-load the hours each year.) Employees continue to accrue until their paid leave bank contains 192 hours (or a higher amount an employer sets).

Employers may provide compensated leave for sick, vacation, or personal necessity leave separately, as long as at least 50% of the time is either vacation or personal necessity leave. If an employer already provides compensated leave, the employer is only required to provide additional leave up to 96 hours for full-time employees. 

Uncompensated, Job-Protected Leave

In addition to the paid leave requirement, employers must also provide a standalone bank of 80 hours of uncompensated leave to full-time employees for use when they, or an immediate family member, is ill. This job-protected, unpaid leave, accrues incrementally as the employee works, unless front-loaded. Part-time employees accrue uncompensated leave on a pro-rated basis. Accrual stops when an employee’s leave bank contains 80 hours and unused leave carries over to the following year up to the 80 hour maximum.

Employees may use uncompensated leave only if their compensated leave is fully exhausted or they are ineligible to use accrued compensated leave.

Following termination, if an employee is rehired within one (1) year of separation date, any previously accrued and unused uncompensated leave must be reinstated. 

Other Requirements

Required Posting: Employers must conspicuously post, at any workplace or job site where any employee works, the city bulletin (July 1 2022 Hotel Minimum Wage Notice Poster (weho.org)) concerning the minimum wage rate(s) and employee rights under the ordinance, in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by five percent of employees.

Given the law’s fast impending effective date for non-hotel employers, employers with employees in West Hollywood should begin compliance preparations, including revising applicable leave policies, review of non-exempt employee compensation, and providing required notices to current and any newly hired non-exempt employees. Do not hesitate to contact the authors or your usual AALRR counsel for compliance assistance.

This AALRR post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

  © 2022 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Other AALRR Blogs

Recent Posts

Popular Categories

Contributors

Archives

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Back to Page

By scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse our website, you consent to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie and Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to accept cookies from our website, or would like to stop cookies being stored on your device in the future, you can find out more and adjust your preferences here.