On June 24, 2021, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued two orders granting paid time off for workers in the city to obtain COVID-19 vaccines and recover from any effects. Both orders allow you to require verification that an employee received a vaccine.
One order, Vaccine Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19, is brand new and applies to all private employers in the city limits. Employees who have been employed at least 60 days are entitled to up to 4 hours of paid leave to cover each vaccine appointment (including travel time) and up to 8 hours of paid leave to recover from each vaccination. These amounts are pro-rated for part-time employees. The right to this paid leave is retroactive to January 1, 2021, and continues through September 30, 2021. Employers with 26 or more employees don’t have to provide this leave unless a worker has exhausted leave under California’s 2021 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave or the City of Los Angeles’ Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.
The second order, Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) Due to COVID-19, revises a previous order that granted up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for a variety of reasons related to COVID-19. This order applies to employers with at least 500 employees in the city or at least 2,000 employees in the U.S. The revised order expands the list of covered reasons to include vaccinations. Employees may use up to 4 hours of their Los Angeles SPSL to cover each vaccine appointment (including travel time) and up to 8 hours to recover from each vaccination, pro-rated for part-time employees. The order continues to forbid covered employers to ask for medical verification of the need for leave, except that now such verification is permitted for vaccine appointments. The new right to take paid leave for vaccine appointments applies on June 24, 2021. As before, this order doesn’t have a firm expiration date; it will expire two weeks after the city’s local COVID-19 emergency expires.
Tips: For details on these paid leave requirements, review the order(s) that may apply based on your company size, and see whether any of the limited exceptions apply. Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney with any questions.