City Council Approves Expansion Of Paid Sick Leave Requirements For COVID-19
City Council Approves Expansion Of Paid Sick Leave Requirements For COVID-19

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to extend the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to employees working within the City of Los Angeles for employers that employ 500 or more persons in the United States. The ordinance applies to all employees who have been employed with the same employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020, and provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave benefits to full-time workers calculated based on the employee’s average two week pay over the period of February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020. Employees who work less than 40 hours per week and who are not classified as a full-time by the employer are entitled to receive paid sick leave in an amount no greater than the employee’s average two week pay over the period of February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020.  As with the FFCRA, the ordinance caps the amount of paid sick leave required at no more than $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate.

Employers are required to provide the paid sick leave upon the oral or written request of an eligible employee if: 

  1. The employee takes time off because a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends that 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 official’s recommendation.

Covered Los Angeles employers may not require a doctor’s note or other documentation for the use of this paid sick leave. To the extent an employer has provided paid sick leave benefits that would meet or exceed the obligations of the ordinance on or after March 4, 2020, it may offset against the ordinance requirements provided that previously accrued paid leave is not included. 

The ordinance does not apply to employees who are health care providers or first responders.  Nor does the ordinance apply to persons employed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement which has expressly waived all or part of the ordinance.  The ordinance will expire on December 31, 2020.  Mayor Garcetti has until April 7, 2020 to act on the ordinance.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2020. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.

Tags: COVID-19

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