City of Los Angeles Clarifies Key Provisions of Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance

The City of Los Angeles updated its website on the minimum wage and sick leave laws on June 27, 2016.

The City published posters describing the minimum wage and sick leave requirements and are available on their website as linked above. Employers must place the posters in a conspicuous location in the workplace.  The notice must be posted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Armenian, Russian, and Farsi, and any other language spoken by at least five percent of the Employees at the workplace or job site.

The City also issued a 21-page Rules and Regulations Implementing the Minimum Wage Ordinance.

The Rules and Regulations clarify several questions under the Los Angeles Sick Leave Ordinance.  Highlights include:

  • An Employee who travels through and makes even one stop in the City as a requirement of the Employee’s work (e.g. to transport passengers or patients, make pickups, deliveries, sales, or service calls), is covered by the MWO [Minimum Wage Ordinance, which includes sick leave] for all hours worked in the City, including travel time within the City when it would typically occur during paid work time.
  • An Employee not covered by the MWO is an individual traveling through the City with no employment related stops. Time spent in the geographic boundaries of the City solely for the purpose of traveling through Los Angeles (from a point of origin outside Los Angeles to a destination outside Los Angeles) with no employment-related or commercial stops in Los Angeles except for refueling or the Employee’s personal meals or errands.
  • An Employee not covered by the MWO is an individual who performs all work outside the City, even if the Employer is based in the City. Hours worked outside the City are not covered by the MWO.
  • Telecommuting: An individual who lives in the City and performs work for an Employer from home, including telecommuting, is covered by the MWO.
  • [The Los Angeles Minimum Wage] shall be paid … prorated to the minute. An Employer may choose to round up if the Employer has a method of rounding.
  • Employers  may  select  either  the  front-loading  method  or  accrual  method  and  may switch between the front-loading method or the accrual method only on an annual basis.
  • Unused paid sick time accrued by an Employee, whether by front loading method or by accrual method, shall carry over to the following year of employment and may be capped at a minimum of 72 hours.

The Rules and Regulations contain a favorable clarification of the 30 day threshold to be eligible for sick leave under the Los Angeles Ordinance:

An  Employee  may  meet  the  30  day  threshold  requirement  by  working  for  30  days  or more for an Employer during any 12 month period which occurs after commencement of employment.    If  an  Employee  continuously  works  for an  Employer  with  only  sporadic work  time  within  the  geographical  boundaries  of  Los  Angeles,  “commencement  of employment” means the initial start date by the Employee for the Employer.  The “year” or 12 month period begins, for purposes of LAMC Section 187.04 (a), the first “day” the Employee works in the City.  If the Employee has not worked a total of 30 days  within that   12   month   period,   the   Employee   does   not   qualify   for   Sick   Time   Benefits.  Subsequently,  if  the  Employee  begins  working  sporadically  within  the  City  again  after the  previous  12  month  period,  a  new  12  month  period  begins  for  the  purposes  of accumulating  30  days  worked  to  qualify  for  Sick  Time  Benefits.    A “day” can  be  any increment of time worked within a 24 hour period in the City.

Also, the Rules and Regulations provide a special rule for 2016 only as employers transition to the new law:

For those using the front-loading method and calendar year, on July 1, 2016, and for only  the  calendar  year  2016,  the  Employer  can  provide  24  hours  for  the  period covering July  1, 2016  to December 31, 2016.  On January 1, 2017, the Employer is required to provide the full 48 hours.

A worksheet published by the City that may be used to determine if your business qualifies as one defined as, “25 employees or less.”

A non-profit corporation form to be submitted to the City of Los Angeles to be granted approval to defer the higher minimum wage effective date to July 1, 2017.  More background on the Ordinance is available here. If you have any questions regarding complying with these new sick leave and minimum wage requirements, please contact the author or your usual AALRR contact.

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