City of Los Angeles Passes Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law for Employers with 500 or More Employees
On March 27, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council passed an urgency ordinance aimed at addressing perceived shortcomings in the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The law covers employers with 500 or more employees, based on the employer’s headcount nationally. The new law takes effect immediately and requires covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.
The ordinance covers employees who work any amount of time in the City of Los Angeles, regardless of where the employer is located. Employees must have been employed for the period February 3, 2020 to March 4, 2020 to be eligible. Similar to the FFCRA, sick leave pay is capped at $511 per day and a total benefit of $5,110 per employee. Part-time employees (employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week) are eligible to receive no greater than the employee’s average two week pay calculated over the period of February 3, 2020 to March 4, 2020.
Los Angeles Supplemental Paid Sick Leave may be used for:
- Because a healthcare provider requires or recommends the employee isolate or self-quarantine;
- Because the employee is 65 or older, or has a health condition such as heart disease, asthma, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or a weakened immune system;
- To care for a family member who is not sick but who public health officials or a healthcare provider have required or recommended isolation or self-quarantine; or
- To provide care for a family member whose senior care provider or school or childcare provider (children under 18) closes in response to public health or other public official’s recommendation.
Employers may not ask for a doctor’s note to verify use of supplemental sick leave.
First responders and health care providers are not eligible for the supplemental paid sick leave. First responders include peace officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, public safety dispatchers or safety telecommunicators, emergency response communication employees, and rescue service personnel.
Supplemental paid sick leave under this Ordinance is in addition to existing California/Los Angeles-mandated paid sick leave. However, if an employer has already provided paid leave since March 4, 2020 for COVID-19 related purposes, such time may be offset against the 80-hour requirement.
Employers may not retaliate against employees using supplemental paid sick leave.
The supplemental paid sick leave may be waived under a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The supplemental paid sick leave expires on December 31, 2020.
If you have any questions please contact the author or your usual employment law counsel at AALRR.