Los Angeles County Expands Paid Sick Leave Requirements For COVID-19
Los Angeles County Expands Paid Sick Leave Requirements For COVID-19

In a move which largely mirrors the steps taken by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted to extend certain paid sick leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to employees working within Los Angeles County for private employers that employ 500 or more persons in the United States. The ordinance is effective immediately and will expire on December 31, 2020. 

The ordinance applies to all persons who perform work for a covered employer within the County of Los Angeles and specifies that all such persons are presumed to be employees; the employer will have the burden of proving independent contractor status. These employees are to be provided up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave benefits to full-time workers calculated based on the employee’s average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through April 28, 2020. Employees who work less than 40 hours per week and who are not classified as full-time by the employer are entitled to receive supplemental paid sick leave in an amount no greater than the employee’s average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through April 28, 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 supplemental paid sick leave upon the written request of an eligible employee who cannot work or telework because:

  1. 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 is subject to a federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 (e.g., 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 needs to care for a family member who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COV1D-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; 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 childcare provider ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official's recommendation.

In contrast to the ordinance established by the City of Los Angeles, county employers may require a doctor’s note or other documentation for the use of this paid sick leave. The requirement to provide supplemental paid sick leave begins on March 31, 2020; 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 31, 2020, it may offset against the ordinance requirements provided that previously accrued paid leave is not included. 

Covered employers may not require the use of other accrued paid time off in connection with this supplemental paid sick leave. The ordinance does not apply to employees who are health care providers or first responders. Nor does the ordinance apply to food sector workers or persons employed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement which has expressly waived all or part of the ordinance. 

Read the ordinance here

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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