April 8, 2020

Mayor Garcetti Signs Emergency Orders Increasing Worker Protections and Mandating Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On April 7, 2020, Mayor Garcetti signed three employment-related COVID-19 Emergency Orders.

Emergency Order: Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID

1.  Required Employers: An Employer with more than 500 employees within the City of Los Angeles or more than 2,000 employees within the United States.

2.  Eligible Employees: An Employee who has been employed with the same Employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020 AND works within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles for the Employer.

3.  Amount of Leave: An Employee who works at least 40 hours per week (or is classified as a full-time employee) is eligible for 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave. An Employee who works less than 40 hours per week (and is not classified as a full-time employee) is eligible for supplemental paid sick leave in an amount no greater than the Employee’s average two-week pay during the period of February 3, 2020 – March 4, 2020.

4.  Employer Offset: The paid sick leave obligation under this Order shall be reduced for every hour an Employer allowed an Employee to take paid leave in an amount equal or greater than the requirements of this Order, not including previously accrued hours, on or after March 4, 2020, for the reasons listed in this Order.

5.  Payment Caps: The amount shall not exceed $511 per day and $5,110 total per Employee. Employees of joint Employers are only entitled to the total aggregate amount of leave specified for Employees of one Employer.

6.  Reasons for Paid Leave: An Employee is eligible for supplemental paid sick leave if: (1) the Employee takes time off due to COVID-19 infection or because a public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends the Employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19; (2) the Employee 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; (3) the Employee needs to care for a family member who is not sick but who public health officials or healthcare providers have required or recommended isolation or self-quarantine; or (4) the Employee needs to provide care for a family member whose senior care provider or whose school or child care provider caring for a child under the age of 18 temporarily ceases operations in response to public health or other public official’s recommendation. This provision is only applicable to an Employee who is unable to secure a reasonable alternative caregiver.

7.  Medical Certification Prohibited: An Employer may not require a doctor’s note or other documentation for the use of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

8.  Exemptions:

  • Emergency and Health Services Personnel. Employers of Emergency Personnel (all first responders, gang and crisis intervention workers, public health workers, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, law enforcement personnel, and related contractors and others working for emergency services providers) or health care workers as described in California Government Code Section 12945.2(c)(6).
  • Critical Parcel Delivery. Employers of Employees that provides global parcel delivery services.
  • Generous Leave. If an Employer has a paid leave or paid time off policy that provides a minimum of 160 hours of paid leave annually, the Employer is exempt from any obligation to provide supplemental leave pursuant to this Order for any Employees that received the more generous paid leave.
  • New Businesses. Businesses that started in Los Angeles or businesses that relocated from outside of Los Angeles on or after September 4, 2019 through March 4, 2020.
  • Government. Government agencies working within the course and scope of public service employment.
  • Closed Businesses and Organizations. Any business or organization that has not operated for 14 or more days due to a city official’s emergency order because of the COVID-19 pandemic or provided at least 14 days of leave.

9. No Waiver of Rights: Employees cannot Waive their rights under this Order. Any waiver will be deemed contrary to public policy and shall be void and unenforceable.

10. Collective Bargaining Agreement: All of the provisions of this article, or any part of, may be expressly waived in a collective bargaining agreement, but only if the waiver is explicitly set forth in the agreement in clear and unambiguous terms. Unilateral implementation of terms and conditions of employment by either party to a collective bargaining relationship shall not constitute, or be permitted to constitute, a waiver of all or any of the provisions of this article.

11. Expiration of Order: This Order shall be in effect until two calendar weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency period.

Emergency Order: Worker Protection Order

1.  Applicable Employers: Employers of workers who work at businesses or perform services that are exempt under Paragraph 5(vii) of the Los Angeles Safer At Home Emergency Order (i.e. providers of essential services).

2.  Eligible Employees: Employees who perform exempt services, as defined under Paragraph 5(vii) of the Los Angeles Safer At Home Order:

  • Grocery stores, water retailers, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouse stores, food banks, certified farmers markets and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet food and medication supply (but not grooming or training), fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, any other household consumer products (such as construction supplies, cleaning and personal care products);
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals (including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence, and homeless services agencies);
  • Hardware and building supply stores, day labor centers, and nurseries;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, day laborers, landscapers, gardeners, property managers and leasing agents, private security personnel;
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and retail food facilities that prepare and offer food to customers, but only via delivery service, to be picked up, or drive-thru;
  • Individuals and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses;
  • Taxis, ride-sharing services, car rental companies, and other private transportation services;
  • Hotels, motels, and shared rental units.

3.  Face Masks (employees):

  • Employers must provide, at their expense, non-medical-grade face coverings for their employees.
  • Employees must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while performing their work.
  • All essential, non-medical workers required to wear the face coverings must frequently (at least once a day) wash any reusable face coverings. Single-use face coverings must be properly discarded into trash receptacles.

4.  Face Masks (customers):

  • All customers and visitors must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths.
  • Business owners/operators may refuse admission or service to any individuals who fail to wear the required face coverings.

5.  Hand Washing:

  • Employers must permit employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.
  • Employers must ensure, at their expense, that employees have access to clean, sanitary restrooms, stocked with all necessary cleaning products, or sanitizing agents.

6.  Social Distancing: Employers must implement social distancing measures for customers, visitors, and employees that provide a six-foot buffer, to the extent possible, between individuals.

Emergency Order: Grocery, Drug Retail, and Food Delivery Worker Protection

  1. Required Employers: Employers of workers who work in the foodservice and drug retail industries, including workers on food delivery platforms such as Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Caviar, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash.
  2. Employers Must Approve Schedule Changes: Employers shall approve an Employee’s request to change a work schedule under any of the following circumstances: (1) to provide daycare for the Employee’s own child; (2) to care for a sick member of the Employee’s immediate family or member of its household; and (3) if the Employee feels ill, exhibits a symptom of COVID-19 as identified by the Center for Disease Control (fever, cough, shortness of breath), or suspects having been exposed to COVID-19.
  3. Employers Must Allow Food Delivery Employees to Decline Orders: Employers shall allow Employees to decline delivery orders under any of the following circumstances without negative repercussions: (1) to provide daycare for the Employee’s own child; (2) to care for a sick member of the Employee’s immediate family or member of its household; or (3) if the Employee feels ill, exhibits a symptom of COVID-19 as identified by the Center for Disease Control (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), or suspects having been exposed to COVID-19.
  4. Employers Must Offer Additional Hours to Current Employees Before Hiring New Workers: Before hiring a new Employee or using a contract, temporary service, or staffing agency to perform work, Employers shall first offer the work to current Employees if:
  • The current Employee is qualified to do the work as reasonably determined by the Employer; and
  • The additional work hours would not result in the payment of a premium rate under California Labor Code Section 510.