LA employers face new paid sick leave order for Covid-19 vaccine – Jobs and HR


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On June 24, 2021, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a new order called Vaccine Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 (the order). The decree aims to reduce the obstacles workers face when seeking the COVID-19 vaccine. It comes into effect immediately and applies retroactively to January 1, 2021 to provide protections to employees who have taken leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as of January 1, 2021. It will remain in effect until September 30, 2021 and covers all employees taking COVID-19 (CVL) vaccination leave on that date.

Requirement: This ordinance applies to all private employers operating in the city of Los Angeles. Note that this applicability differs from the revised City of Los Angeles Supplementary Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (SPSL Ordinance), which applied to employers with 500 or more employees in the City of Los Angeles or 2,000 employees or more in the United States. The revisions to the SPSL order apply prospectively, starting June 24, 2021, and the SPSL order continues to apply until two calendar weeks after the end of the local COVID-19 emergency period.

Under the new ordinance, employers are required to provide paid sick leave for employee absences related to COVID-19. An employee is a person who performs work in the city of Los Angeles and has worked for the same employer for 60 days. CVL is the time an employee is absent from work related to the COVID-19 vaccine that must be compensated by the employer. Time off includes the time an employee spends traveling to and from an appointment, receiving the injection, and recovering from vaccine-related side effects to the extent that they prevent the employee from being able to work or telecommute. An employer must provide the paid CVL at the employee’s oral or written request. Employers may require employees to provide written proof of receipt of the vaccine.

The amount of CVL that employers must provide depends on two criteria: 1) whether the employer employs 25 or less employees; and 2) whether the employee is full-time or part-time.

Employer with 25 employees or less: If an employer employs 25 or fewer employees and a full time employee requests CVL, employer must provide up to four hours of CVL for each vaccine injection and up to eight hours of CVL to recover from any side effects related to vaccination.

If an employer employs 25 or fewer employees and a part time employees request CVL, the amount of CVL provided is prorated based on the average number of hours worked in the 60 days prior to injection or recovery. The part-time employee is entitled to a maximum of four hours of CVL per injection and a prorated eight hours of CVL to recover from vaccine-related side effects.

For example, if an employee worked 240 hours in the last 60 days (including nonworking days), you would divide 240 hours by 60 days, which equates to an average of four hours / day. Multiply that number by seven to get the average number of hours worked in a week – in this case, 28 hours / week. On a pro rata basis, the employee is therefore entitled to 2.8 hours (2 hours 48 minutes) per injection and 5.6 hours (5 hours 36 minutes) for recovery.

Employer with more than 25 employees: The §248.2 Labor Code and the Mayor’s SPSL Decree already require employers with more than 25 employees to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19 qualifying events. The new Los Angeles ordinance extends these protections by granting additional time off to employees who have already used up their leave granted under the Labor Code §248.2 or the SPSL ordinance. In this case, employers must provide additional leave, in the same amounts as those indicated above.

Pay rate: Employers must compensate not exempt employees at the upper the following: (1) the employee’s regular rate of pay for the work week in which the employee takes leave; 2) the minimum wage of $ 15 / hour in the city of Los Angeles; or 3) the employee’s average hourly wage for the previous 60 days (excluding overtime).

For exempt employees, employers pay in the same way they calculate wages for other forms of paid leave. The College caps salary at $ 511 / day (or $ 255.50 for each 4-hour period) or $ 1,022 in total, unless the federal government sets a higher salary amount.

Retroactive provisions and remuneration: Employees who, on or after January 1, 2021, took what would have been qualifying leave under the College and were paid less than required by the College may submit an oral or written request to receive a retroactive payment. Employers must then make payment on or before payday for the next full pay period. If employers require employees to use time off such as vacation, paid or unpaid time off, or other sick leave benefits, then they must, at the request of an employee, reclassify the paid time off taken into account. CVL and reinstate leave taken by the employee.

Any reclassification, restoration or adjustment of other leaves previously taken, as well as the remaining hours of CVL, must be reflected on the employee’s pay stub no later than pay day for the next full pay period after the request. of the employee. However, these requirements do not do not apply if the employee has used qualifying leave under the College’s compensation provision.

Offset: There is a caveat for employers who have already provided additional benefits for leave taken on or after January 1, 2021 (in addition to any other accumulated leave) that is 1) payable for the same reasons as the College, and 2) which compensates an employee for an amount equal to or greater than the amount required under the Order. In these cases, an employer may count the hours of the other supplementary benefit in the total number of hours required by the Order.

Enforcement: The order provides that employees can bring a civil action for an employer’s failure to provide a CVL, or for retaliation because of the employee seeking a CVL. Employees can recover economic damages and attorney fees.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.


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