Last week, on January 26, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring all small and large private employers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County to provide supplemental COVID-19 related paid sick leave (“SPSL”). Previously, the ordinance had applied to employers with 500 or more employees.
The federal paid sick leave mandate which was part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) officially ended on December 31, 2020, with an option for employers to voluntarily extend such paid leave through March 31, 2021. With this new Los Angeles County ordinance, the additional paid sick leave is extended until at least two calendar weeks after the county’s COVID-19 local emergency ends. It is also retroactive to January 1, 2021.
The reasons that an employee can use the SPSL are still the same as before, namely, that:
- a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends that the employee self-isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- the employee is caring for a family member who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, or has been advised by a health care provider to isolate or self-quarantine; or
- the employee needs time off to care for a family member whose senior care provider, school, or child care provider has ceased operations in response to a public official’s recommendation.
The good news is that full time employees who have already exhausted their 80 hours of FFCRA leave are not entitled to additional leave.
Employees who are not full time, meaning less than 40 hours per week, and who have not exhausted their FFCRA hours, will still receive this SPSL in an amount not greater than their average two-week pay.
Like before, the maximum amount of SPSL is $511 per day or $5,110 in total.
Click on the link below to view the ordinance.
Other locales have also extended their COVID-19 related paid sick leave, such as: Long Beach; Los Angeles (City); Oakland; Sacramento (City & County); San Francisco; San Jose; San Mateo County; and Sonoma County. Santa Rosa is expected to vote on the possible extension of their sick leave ordinance at its February 2nd meeting. Some of the ordinances have made pay retroactive, as Los Angeles County has, while others have not.
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