Los Angeles: New Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On June 2, 2016 the City of Los Angeles approved a city sick leave ordinance separate from the required California state sick leave requirements. This new city ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

Employees who work two or more hours in a week in the city of Los Angeles will accrue up to 48 hours of sick leave per year. Ttime-371226_1280his is double the amount required by California state law (24 hours).

This new rule applies to employers of all sizes with employees working in Los Angeles. There is not a lower cap for small employers like there is for San Francisco or Santa Monica small employers.

Employers can choose to give employees the full 48 hours of paid sick time as a lump sum (for example, at the beginning of the calendar year) or an accrual schedule can be set up. If an accrual method is used, employees must accrue at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked within the city of Los Angeles.

Beginning on July 1, 2016, current employees will be entitled to begin accruing this additional paid sick time. Any employees hired after July 1, 2016 must begin accrual on their date of hire, however, similar to California law, employers can require that employees are not able to use their paid sick time during their first 89 days of employment.

The Los Angeles ordinance states that paid sick leave can be used “for any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” This is much broader than the California state law definition of who sick leave can be taken for.

Employers with existing paid leave policies, such as vacation, sick, personal or paid time off (PTO), that satisfy all of the requirements of the new ordinance are not required to make any changes to their existing policies.

Employers who do not implement a policy compliant with the new ordinance will be subject to civil enforcement of fines and penalties with a per-violation penalty of $120 for each employee, each day that the employer is not in compliance.

Los Angeles employers should act quickly to review and make any necessary changes to their existing policies before the July 1st effective date.

For more information on the California state sick leave requirements, click here.

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