On January 26, 2021, Los Angeles County extended its Covid-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance to continue “until two weeks after the expiration of the Covid-19 local emergency” as declared by the County. The new ordinance also applies retroactively to businesses starting on January 1, 2021.
While the newly amended Los Angeles ordinance largely tracks the County’s previous ordinance, which expired December 31, 2020, notable differences are outlined below:
Covered Employers: Unlike the original ordinance, which covered employers with 500 or more employees nationwide, the amended ordinance requires both large and small private employers in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County to provide supplemental paid sick leave. There is no longer a threshold based on the number of employees.
Covered Employees: The ordinance covers persons who perform any work within the unincorporated parts of the County. Food sector workers were excluded from the original ordinance, but as of January 1, 2021, food sector employees are now covered under the amended ordinance. Employers may also exclude emergency responders or health care providers from being eligible for paid sick leave.
Covered Reasons for Leave: Like the original ordinance, the amended ordinance requires that employers must provide paid sick leave to employees at the written request (including, but not limited to, email and text) of an employee if the employee cannot work because of the following:
1. 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 is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine
or isolation order related to Covid-19;
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 Covid-19; or
4. 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
The ordinance also permits employers to require documentation confirming that the employee is entitled to sick leave under one of these qualifying reasons.
Amount of Paid Sick Leave: Employees who work at least 40 hours per week, or classified as full-time, are entitled to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. The amount of pay is calculated on the employee’s highest average two-week pay during the period of January 1, 2020 to the effective date of the ordinance, which is January 1, 2021.
Employees who work less than 40 hours per week or not classified as full-time, are still entitled to paid sick leave calculated at the employee’s average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 to January 1. 2021.
Employees who have already exhausted their supplemental paid sick leave under the prior LA County ordinance or the FFCRA by December 31, 2020 are not eligible for any additional supplemental sick leave.
Cap on Payments: The amount of paid sick leave is capped at $511 per day or $5,110 in total. Paid sick leave under the ordinance is in addition to any paid sick leave available to employees under Labor Code section 246. Further, employees of joint employers are only entitled to the total aggregate amount of leave specified for employees of one employer.
Navigating the ever-evolving Covid-19 laws continues to be a challenge, but RPNA is available to provide guidance in interpreting and applying the new ordinance to your business.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Marina Vitek at (818) 992-9999 ext. 236, Trevor Witt at ext. 224, or Donna Leung at ext. 233.