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Workplace Policies and Processes

LA County Employers Must Provide Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID

By March 29, 2021No Comments
LA County Employers Must Provide Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID - sherman law corporation

On January 26, 2021, Los Angeles County, California voted on whether and how to expand and extend their supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) ordinances that expired at the end of 2020.

The Board of Supervisors enacted an ordinance both extending and greatly expanding the supplemental paid sick leave ordinance applicable in the county’s unincorporated areas. The amendments extend the law’s duration retroactively to January 1, 2021, and provide that the law will remain in effect until two calendar weeks after the county’s COVID-19 local emergency ends.

Sherman Law Corporation is dedicated to helping California employers in all types of workplace issues. In this blog, we take a look at how this new ordinance will affect LA County employers.

What Does the New Ordinance mean for LA County employers?

Initially, the supplemental paid sick leave ordinance applied to employers with 500 or more U.S. employees in the county’s unincorporated areas (examples of incorporated areas include the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which have their own laws). 

Nevertheless, as amended, and in light of the expiration of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the law will now apply to all employers. 

For employers that were not covered under the initial law – employers with 499 or fewer U.S. employees – the law’s requirements apply retroactively to January 1, 2021. Although the county extended the duration and scope of the law, it does not require employers to provide a new bank of SPSL. 

The amended ordinance provides that employees who used all available L.A. County SPSL or FFCRA emergency paid sick leave in 2020 are ineligible for additional L.A. County SPSL in 2021. 

Additionally, as amended, the ordinance allows employers to offset the amount of L.A. County SPSL they must provide employees by the amount of leave they provided them under the FFCRA.

What do LA County Businesses Need to Know?

For employers that have employees that are now covered or employers that are only now covered by the amended ordinance, the amendments create an issue concerning how to calculate the amount of L.A. County SPSL certain employees receive. 

The SPSL calculation standards continue to use “the period of January 1, 2020 through the effective date of this Chapter,” which was April 28, 2020. Accordingly, the amended ordinance is silent concerning the period of time employers must use for employees hired on or after April 29, 2020. 

Similarly, it does not address how employers previously covered by the federal FFCRA – and who were therefore not covered by the L.A. County law – calculate the leave amount. 

These employers may wonder whether they can use their original FFCRA calculation for L.A. County SPSL purposes. Even assuming employers could use the FFCRA calculation, however, there will be employees who never had an FFCRA leave amount calculated because they did not experience a qualifying need for leave, which triggered the obligation to calculate leave under the FFCRA. It is hoped the L.A. County Board of Supervisors will clarify these issues via amendments.

Contact Sherman Law Corporation for more information about SPSL 

Sherman Law Corporation works with our clients to resolve disputes and make sure they are legally compliant. If you have questions about COVID policies and how they affect your business, please contact Lisa Sherman at [email protected] or call at (424) 249-3631.