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Paid Sick Leave is Coming to Los Angeles as Soon as July 1, 2016

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The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a motion to direct the City Attorney’s Office to move forward with a proposed ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees in the City of Los Angeles. The ordinance, if approved, will provide six days of paid sick leave per year with a carry-over of 72 hours. Los Angeles would then join Oakland, San Francisco, Emeryville, and Santa Monica, who all have similar paid sick leave laws.

Under the proposal, any employee who works in Los Angeles for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year is eligible for paid sick leave. Paid sick leave will begin accruing on the employee’s first day of employment or July 1, 2016, whichever is later. Employees hired after the effective date of the ordinance will begin accruing paid sick leave on the 90th day of employment. Unlike California law, the Los Angeles ordinance will not require employers to pay out accrued but unused sick days upon termination. Similarly, under both laws, if an employee is rehired within a year, the previously accrued and unused time must be reinstated.

Sick leave under the proposal may be used on the employee’s written or verbal request for all of the following situations:

  • The employee’s own health care needs (including treatment of an existing health condition and preventative care); or
  • A covered family member’s health care needs (including treatment and preventative care); or
  • To seek aid, treatment or related assistance for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Family in the proposed ordinance includes not only children (biological, adopted, step, loco parentis), siblings, spouses, registered domestic partners, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren, but also “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”

Employers in Los Angeles should examine their leave policies to ensure that they comply with applicable state laws and local regulations. As yet to be determined is whether there will be a requirement that the City’s mandated sick leave be reflected on the wage statement as is required by California’s sick leave law, but we are anticipating that will be the case. We urge our LA contractors to be cognizant of the probable changes in the paid sick leave ordinance and act accordingly.

Hilary Atkins

Posted In: Legal, Management, Money

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