Emergency Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law to Assist Workers Affected by COVID-19
On April 7, 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an emergency order to modify the paid sick leave policy enacted by the Los Angeles City Council in March. Supplemental paid sick leave provides vital financial aid to employees unable to work due to COVID-19. Specifically, companies based in L.A. with at least 500 employees locally or 2,000 nationally must provide additional paid sick leave up to 80 hours to a broad range of employees. Smaller businesses must also provide paid sick leave benefits as well. While Mayor Garcetti’s order expands the businesses that are exempt from the law passed by the city council, the law also ensures that many employees are still protected and entitled to supplemental paid sick leave during the unprecedented worldwide pandemic.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible, employees must have been an employee working in Los Angeles between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020. Under the law, supplemental paid sick leave must be provided if the employee:
- is unable to work due to required or recommended self-quarantine;
- is at least 65 years old with an underlying medical condition;
- must provide care to a relative that is under quarantine; or
- must provide care for an elderly family member or a child.
What businesses are exempt?
State and federal lawmakers are taking action to protect workers’ jobs and ensure employees receive adequate financial support while at the same time, lawmakers must not place too much burden on businesses. As a result, Mayor Garcetti hopes the emergency order strikes the “necessary balance of these interests.” As a result, there are exemptions for businesses such as health and emergency care providers, global delivery services, new businesses, and government agencies serving the public health. The most significant modification to the city council’s policy was the additional eligibility requirement by Mayor Garcetti that workers be based in L.A
What do the benefits consist of?
The actual paid sick leave benefits under the law largely depend on the size of the employer. For example, full-time employees based in L.A. working for an employer with over 500 local employees (or 2,000 nationally) must provide 80 days of paid sick leave. Businesses with 100 employees or more, but under 500 employees, must provide 14 supplemental paid sick leave days if the employee is affected by COVID-19.
Smaller businesses with less than 100 employees, but more than ten must provide five days of paid sick leave and access to short-term disability benefits and paid family leave. Finally, small business with less than 10 employees and revenue less than $1 million are not required to provide supplemental paid sick leave and are exempt.
As Los Angeles, and the world, cope with COVID-19 and the disruption to the economy and businesses, important laws are being enacted to provide necessary protection to employees and businesses alike.
Employees in California already have the right to sick leave under the Healthy Workplace Families Act of 2014 and the Federal Medical Leave Act, but recent laws have been enacted to provide additional rights during the pandemic.
Srourian Law Firm, with locations in Los Angeles, Westwood, Woodland Hills, and Orange County is experienced in all aspects of employment law including the right to paid sick leave and have aggressively represented employees in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Orange, Irvine, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Tustin, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Garden Grove, Laguna Niguel, Brea, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo, Yorba Linda, Westminster, Laguna Hills, Cypress, and La Habra.
If you or someone you know suffered employment violations as an employee entitled to supplemental paid sick leave, you may have certain employee rights under state and federal law. workers may be entitled to paid sick leave; and may be entitled to compensation as a part of the class action lawsuit. Please contact us to speak with one of our lawyers for a free consultation.