On April 28, 2020, the Board of Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles voted to approve an interim urgency ordinance that requires certain employers to provide supplemental paid sick leave to qualifying employees when they are absent from work for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Los Angeles previously passed a similar ordinance, but the County ordinance expands the coverage for supplemental paid sick leave to employees outside the City’s geographic boundaries.
The ordinance became effective on April 28, 2020 and remains in effect until December 31, 2020 (unless the Board of Supervisors takes action to extend it).
Employers are subject to the ordinance if they have 500 or more employees nationally. However, the ordinance does not apply to employers that are federal, state or local government agencies.
To qualify for supplemental paid sick leave under the ordinance, an employee must meet the following requirements:
In addition, certain employees may be exempt from receiving supplemental paid sick leave under the ordinance, as discussed in the section on "Exemptions" below.
Employers are required under the ordinance to begin providing supplemental paid sick leave to qualifying employees on March 31, 2020.
To receive supplemental paid sick leave under the ordinance, an employee must make a written request to the employer (for example, via email or text) that the employee cannot work or telework because of one of the following reasons:
For purposes of the ordinance, a "family member" means the employee’s spouse, child (including a biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, and certain other individuals), and parent (including a biological, foster or adoptive parent, legal guardian, and certain other individuals).
Employers may require documentation for the use of supplemental paid sick leave as allowed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and related rules and regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor. However, an employee may begin using supplemental paid sick leave before obtaining the requested documentation.
Supplemental paid sick leave is calculated under the ordinance as follows (subject to the limitations set forth in the bullet points below):
|Employee||Supplemental Paid Sick Leave|
An employee who works at least 40 hours per week or is classified as a full-time employee by the employer
80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave, calculated based on the employee’s highest average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through April 28, 2020
An employee who works less than 40 hours per week and is not classified as a full-time employee by the employer
An amount no greater than the employee’s average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through April 28, 2020
Supplemental paid sick leave under the ordinance is subject to the following important limitations:
An employer may not require an employee to use any other paid or unpaid leave, paid time off, or vacation time provided by the employer, before the employee uses supplemental paid sick leave (or in lieu of supplemental paid sick leave) under the ordinance. In addition, the total number of hours of supplemental paid sick leave that an employee is entitled to receive under the ordinance is in addition to any paid sick leave available to the employee under California Labor Code section 246.
An employer may exclude an employee from receiving supplemental paid sick leave under the ordinance if the employee is an "emergency responder" or a "health care provider".
An "emergency responder" is an employee who provides emergency response services, including a peace officer, firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, public safety dispatcher or safety telecommunicator, emergency response communication employee, rescue service personnel; and employees included in the definition of emergency responder in regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A "health care provider" is an employee who provides emergency response services, including medical professionals; employees needed to keep hospitals and similar health care facilities well supplied and operational; employees involved in research, development, and production of equipment, drugs, vaccines, and other items needed to combat the COVID-19 public health emergency; and employees included in the definition of health care provider in regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
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