On January 26, 2021, both Los Angeles County and Sonoma County revised and extended their COVID-19 paid sick leave ordinances. Los Angeles County’s urgency ordinance took effect immediately upon approval, retroactive to January 1, 2021. Sonoma County’s urgency ordinance took effect immediately upon passage. Both ordinance’s expiration dates were extended.
Los Angeles County COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave ordinance initially took effect on April 28, 2020, expired on December 31, 2020, and only applied to private-sector employers with 500 or more employees nationally.
As revised and effective January 1, 2021, the ordinance now applies to all employers in the unincorporated areas of the county, regardless of size/number of employees. This means that employers with fewer than 500 employees previously exempt (and subject to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)) must follow the local ordinance.
A covered employee includes any individual who performs any work for any employer within the geographic boundaries of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Like the original ordinance, employers may exclude employees defined as a Health Care Provider or Emergency Responder under the ordinance.
Employees are entitled to the same amount of leave as originally provided for under the ordinance, and the revised ordinance doesn’t provide any additional leave. Full-time employees working at least 40 hours per week are entitled to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave, and part-time employees working fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to an amount no greater than the employee’s average two week pay. Notably, employees who exhausted their FFCRA leave, or their supplemental paid sick leave entitlements under the ordinance, are not entitled to additional leave. Employers may also offset the amount of leave required under the ordinance by any amount of FFCRA leave already provided.
Supplemental paid sick leave is capped at $511 per day and $5,110 total.
The qualifying reasons to take leave remain the same as under the original ordinance and include when an employee is unable to work or telework because:
Los Angeles County’s supplemental paid sick leave ordinance will remain in effect until two calendar weeks after the expiration of the Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors’ COVID-19 local emergency declaration.
Sonoma County COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Sonoma County’s COVID-19 paid sick leave ordinance initially took effect on August 18, 2020, and expired on December 31, 2020. Sonoma County’s revised ordinance took effect immediately upon passage on January 26, 2021, and unlike Los Angeles County, the ordinance is not retroactive.
The revised ordinance extends the expiration date of the ordinance to June 30, 2021, but outside of that, didn’t change the overall substance of the ordinance. The coverage of the ordinance is still limited to employers with 500 or more employees, either nationally or locally. However, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors discussed preparing a separate draft ordinance that would include employers with fewer than 500 employees, which may be considered at a future meeting — so smaller employers may soon be subject to similar requirements.
As a reminder, any employee working for an employer for more than two hours within the geographic boundaries of unincorporated Sonoma County are eligible for leave under the ordinance.
Sick leave calculations, qualifying use and rate of pay among other ordinance provisions remain unchanged from the original ordinance.
Sonoma County’s COVID-19 paid sick leave ordinance will expire on June 30, 2021, unless otherwise extended by the Board of Supervisors.
Bianca Saad, Employment Law Counsel/Subject Matter Expert, CalChamber
CalChamber members can use the Local Ordinances Wizard to determine if any local ordinances or labor law posters apply to your business or location(s). Not a member? See what CalChamber can do for you.
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