LA County Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Extended and Expanded

On Jan. 26, 2021, Los Angeles County extended and expanded its supplemental paid sick leave ordinance (SPSL) effective immediately and retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

How was the LA County SPSL ordinance expanded?  There is no longer a minimum threshold based on number of employees. The LA County SPSL previously applied only to larger employers.

Which employers must comply with the LA County SPSL? Employers, of any size, operating in the unincorporated areas of LA County. Employers may exclude emergency responders and health care providers.

Which employees are entitled to the LA County SPSL?

An employee who has performed any work within the unincorporated parts of the County

AND

Those employees who have not exhausted available FFCRA leave or have not already exhausted leave available under the original County ordinance.

In other words, if an employee exhausted available FFCRA leave for a covered reason, or already exhausted LA County SPSL, the employee is not entitled to additional leave.

What are the qualifying reasons for an employee being granted this paid sick leave?

  • SPSL is available upon written request (including text or email) when the employee cannot work or telework because:
    • Public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends Employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
    • Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 (e.g., is at least 65 years old or has a health condition such as heart disease, asthma, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a weakened immune system;
    • Employee needs to care for family member subject to federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COIVD-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
    • Employee takes time off because Employee needs to provide care for family member whose senior care provider or whose school or child care provider ceases operations in response to a public health or other public health official’s recommendation
      • “Family member” is defined as Employee’s child, parent or spouse.
      • “Child” is defined as a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either (i) under 18 or (ii) a dependent child.
      • “Parent” is defined as biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to the Employee when the Employee was a child.

What documentation can the employer request to grant leave for these qualifying reasons? This leave must be granted upon written request (including text or email). An employer may require documentation as allowed pursuant to the FFCRA and related DOL rules; however, an employee may begin using SPSL before obtaining the employer requested documentation.

Amount of Leave:

  1. An employee who works at least 40 hours per week or more or is classified as a full-time employee by the employer shall receive 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. Supplemental paid sick leave shall be calculated based upon the highest average two week pay between Jan. 1, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021.
  2. An employee who works less than 40 hours per week or is not classified as a full-time employee by the employer shall receive supplemental paid sick leave in an amount not greater than their average two week pay over the same time period as above.

In no event shall the supplemental paid sick leave amount paid to an employee exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate

To read the entire text of the order, click here.


About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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