City of Los Angeles Requires Employers with 500+ Employees to Provide Up to 80 Hours of Paid Sick Leave

Stokes Wagner
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The City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance on March 27, 2020, requiring employers with more than 500 employees to provide up to 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) to employees. This Supplemental PSL is in addition to the 48 hours of PSL already required by the City.

To qualify for Supplemental PSL, an employee must request the leave for one of the following reasons:

  1. The employee takes time off 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;
  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 childcare provider caring for a child under the age of 18 temporarily ceases operations in response to a public health official or other public official’s recommendation.

The Ordinance specifically states that employers CANNOT require a doctor’s note or other documentation for the use of Supplemental PSL.

Supplemental PSL must be made available to employees who:

  • Work at least 40 hours per week; or
  • Are classified as full-time employees by the employer.

Part-time employees are also afforded benefits. The Ordinance requires they receive Supplemental PSL in an amount no greater than the employee’s average two-week pay over the period from 2/3/2020 through 3/4/2020.

Supplemental PSL benefits are capped at $511 (per day) or $5,110 in the aggregate.

Employers who provided their employees with paid leave between March 4, 2020 and today can use that paid leave to offset the requirements of the Supplemental PSL.

To enforce this new Ordinance, the City provided employees with a private right of action. Employees who prove their employers violated this ordinance will be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief deemed appropriate.

The Ordinance is in effect until December 31, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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