LA City Votes to End Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
Starting at the end of 2020/early 2021, many California cities codified supplemental COVID-related paid sick leave, providing benefits beyond the state’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“2022 SPSL”). Although most of these locales have phased out their supplemental programs, three California cities (Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland) and one county (Los Angeles) still have provisions in place above and beyond state requirements.
California’s SPSL will end on Dec. 31, 2022. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to end the city’s state of emergency effective Feb. 1, 2023, thereby triggering the end of the city’s supplemental paid sick leave. Per the ordinance, supplemental leave expires “two weeks after the expiration of the local emergency period,” or Feb. 15, 2023. To date, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, and Oakland have not voted on or set expiration dates for their respective supplemental paid leave programs:
- Long Beach: City Council will determine “based on relevant information contained in the ninety (90) day reports.”
- Los Angeles County: Two weeks after expiration of local emergency period.
- Oakland: Upon expiration of local emergency period.
Employers with operations in the city of Los Angeles should plan ahead for February and take appropriate steps now with human resources, payroll, and any other support department that receives, evaluates, and/or processes employee COVID-related leave requests.
Also of note, San Francisco recently approved Proposition G, which permanently codifies public health emergency leave (in addition to San Francisco paid sick leave) at the beginning of a “public health emergency.” The ordinance specifies several covered uses for public health emergency leave (“PHEL”), including public health department orders requiring quarantine and air quality emergencies. The new ordinance requires employers to allow full-time employees an amount of leave equal to the hours the employee regularly works or takes paid leave, over a two-week period (up to 80 hours). San Francisco employers should take care to carefully review the ordinance and its requirements to ensure compliance.