Large Employers in Los Angeles, San Francisco & San Jose Must Provide Additional COVID-19 Paid Leave

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a growing number of laws have required employers to temporarily adjust leave policies to better protect the welfare of their employees during this health crisis. One priority has been providing employees with paid time off from work to obtain COVID-19 related health care and recover from the virus, and allowing employees to use that benefit to care for the employee’s family members. One such piece of legislation is the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which provides employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and up to 10 weeks of paid childcare leave for reasons related to COVID-19.COVID-19 paid leave

 

Not all employees can take advantage of the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions. The FFCRA only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. This gap has led three of California’s major metropolises to pass emergency paid leave ordinances covering employers with 500 or more employees. These ordinances have been adopted in Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco. Employers in these jurisdictions should be aware they may have additional compliance responsibilities.

 

LOS ANGELES, CA

The City of Los Angeles COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (SPSL) requires employers that have either (i) 500 or more employees in the City or (ii) 2,000 or more employees nationally, to provide their employees with up to 80 hours of SPSL (pro-rated for part-time employees) for COVID-19 related reasons. Certain employers are exempt. The Ordinance is effective April 10, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020.

 

Who is eligible?

Employees are eligible for SPSL if they perform any work (including telework) within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles and have been employed by the same employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020.

 

What are the qualifying reasons for leave?

Leave may be taken because the employee:

  • has COVID-19 or a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends the employee isolate or self-quarantine;
  • 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;
  • is caring for a family member who is in isolation or self-quarantine; or
  • is caring for a family member whose care provider or school has temporarily closed in response to COVID-19.

 

Is there an offset?

An employer’s obligation to provide 80 hours of SPSL is reduced for every hour of paid leave (not including accrued hours) that an employer allowed an employee to take on or after March 4, 2020, for reasons outlined in the Ordinance.

 

How much is the benefit?

The amount of supplemental paid sick leave is equivalent to an employee’s average two week pay over the period of February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020, maxing out at $511 a day and $5,110 in total.

 

Is there a poster?

Currently, the City does not have a posting requirement.

 

SAN JOSE, CA

The City of San Jose COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) requires employers that have 500 or more employees to provide full-time employees with 80 hours of emergency paid leave (pro-rated amounts for part-time employees) for COVID-19 related reasons. PSLO benefits are available from April 8, 2020 through December 31, 2020, when the Ordinance expires.

 

Who is eligible?

Employees are entitled to take leave if they have worked at least two (2) hours or more within the City and they leave home to perform “essential work.” “Essential work” means work that employees are lawfully allowed to leave their residences to perform work under the County’s “shelter in place” order.

 

What are the qualifying reasons for leave?

Leave may be used because the employee:

  • is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID19;
  • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 or is caring for someone who is so advised by a health-care provider;
  • is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • is caring for a minor child because a school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19.

 

Is there an offset?

The PSLO does not apply to any employer that provides its employees with some combination of paid personal leave at least equivalent to the paid time required by the Ordinance. An employer that provides some combination of paid personal leave that is less than the PLSO requirement must provide paid leave to the extent of such deficiency.

 

How much is the benefit?

Employees must be paid at least their regular rate of pay up to $511.00 per day, not to exceed an of $5,110.00 for two weeks. If an employee uses paid sick leave to care for another person, they must be paid at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay up to $200.00 per day, not to exceed an $2,000.00 for two weeks.

 

Is there a poster?

The San Jose Office of Equality Assurance (OEA) has created the San Jose COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Notice to inform employees of their rights under the law. The Notice is available on CPC’s FREE downloads web page here.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

The San Francisco Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) requires employers with 500 or more employees worldwide to provide full-time employees with up to 80 hours of paid health emergency leave (pro-rated amounts for part-time employees). The Ordinance took effect on April 17, 2020 and, unless reenacted, expires on the earlier of June 17, 2020 or the end of the public health emergency.

 

Who is eligible?

The leave entitlement applies to any person providing labor or services for remuneration who is an employee under California Labor Code Section 2750.3 and performs work within the geographic boundaries of the City.

 

What are the qualifying reasons for leave?

Leave can be used because the employee:

  • is subject to an individual or general federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
  • is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • is caring for a covered family member is subject to a quarantine/isolation order, advised to self-quarantine, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • is caring for a family member who school or place of care has been closed or is unavailable due to local emergency order; or
  • is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified under specified local or federal law.

 

Is there an offset?

PHELO leave is in addition to any paid time off that the employer provided to employees before the effective date of the PHELO. However, employers can offset the PHELO leave requirement with paid leave hours (not including accrued hours) that an employer allowed an employee take on or after February 25, 2020, for the same purposes.

 

How much is the benefit?

Leave is paid at the employee’s regular sick leave rate of pay.

 

Is there a poster?

Employers must post the PHELO Notice in a conspicuous place at the workplace, via electronic communication, and/or by posting in a conspicuous place in an employer’s web-based or app-based platform. The notice must be provided in English, Spanish, Chinese, and any language spoken by at least 5% of the employees. The PHELO Notice is available on our FREE downloads page here.

 

 

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