Los Angeles Mayor Modifies Supplemental Sick Pay Ordinance with Emergency Order 


On Tuesday April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, issued an Emergency Order replacing the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that the City Council passed on March 27, 2020.  The Order takes effect immediately. 

The Order narrows the definition of employers subject to the supplemental paid sick leave requirement to businesses with either: (i) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (ii) 2,000 or more employees nationwide. 

The Order also exempts the following employers:

  • Employers of emergency personnel or health care workers
  • Parcel delivery services
  • Employers that already provide “generous leave” to employees (defined as 160 or more hours of annual leave)
  • New businesses (started between September 4, 2019 and March 4, 2020)
  • Government employers
  • Closed businesses

Full definitions of the above terms and the entire Order may be viewed here: https://www.lamayor.org/sites/g/files/wph446/f/page/file/SUPPLEMENTALPAIDSICKLEAVE.pdf

The Order sets forth an exemption for certain collective bargaining agreements under the following conditions:

  • If a CBA in place on the effective date of the Order contains COVID-19 related sick leave provisions.
  • When a CBA expires or is otherwise open for renegotiation, the provisions of the Order may only be expressly waived if the waiver is explicitly set forth in the CBA in clear and unambiguous terms.
  • If a CBA is in place on the effective date of this Order but the CBA does not address COVID-19 related sick leave provisions, an employer must comply with the Order unless and until the CBA is amended to expressly waive in clear and unambiguous terms set forth in the CBA.

Consistent with the previous ordinance, employees may use supplemental paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  1. The employee takes time off due to COVID-19 infection or because a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends the employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  2. The employee takes time off work because the employee is at least 65 years old or has a health condition such as heart disease, asthma, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or weakened immune system;
  3. The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to care for a family member who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolation or self-quarantine; or
  4. The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member whose senior care provider or whose school or child care provider caring for a child under the age of 18 temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health or other public officials recommendation. This provision is only applicable to an employee who is unable to secure a reasonable alternative caregiver.

As before, full-time employees may use up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. Part-time employees may receive a prorated amount based on the employee’s average hours worked.  Payment is capped at $511 per day and a total of $5,110 per employee.

The Order applies to employees who work within the City limits.    Employers should check particular addresses at the following website: https://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/  A map illustrating the City boundaries made be accessed here: https://www.latimes.com/includes/projects/img/mapping_la/mappingla.pdf

Employers may offset paid sick leave hours provided on or after March 4, 2020, for any of the reasons described in Paragraph II.A.1-4 or in response to an employee’s inability to work due to COVID-19 against the obligation to provide 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.

Employers may not retaliate against employees for using or requesting supplemental paid sick leave.  Employees may file a private right of action in Superior Court to enforce the law.  Prevailing employees may be awarded attorneys’ fees in such actions.

The Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards will issue Rules and Regulations to enforce the order.  Updates will be posted to https://wagesla.lacity.org/.

The Order is set to expire two weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency period.

This AALRR publication 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 presentation/publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Firm is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process.

©2020 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo



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