Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has signed a paid sick leave ordinance affecting businesses with more than 500 employees and has issued a directive for certain retail businesses to provide cloth face coverings to their workers.
Ordinance 186590 requires employers with over 500 employees nationally to provide 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave in certain situations related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The ordinance is intended to supplement the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which as we previously reported, imposes emergency paid sick leave requirements on employers with fewer than 500 employees. The four reasons for leave under the ordinance are different than the six reasons for leave under the FFCRA, however. The ordinance allows leave when: (1) a public health official or health care provider requires or recommends the employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19; (2) the employee is in a high risk category, specifically being “at least 65 years old” or having “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 isn’t sick but has been required or recommended by public health officials or health care providers to isolate or self-quarantine; or (4) the employee needs to care for a family member whose senior care provider or whose school or child care provider temporarily closes in response to a recommendation from a public health official or other public official. Covered employers cannot require eligible employees to provide a doctor’s note to support their reason for leave.
In addition, Mayor Garcetti has issued a Worker Protection Order which applies to workers in certain retail businesses that were among a longer list of businesses that were considered essential and therefore allowed to continue operating under the mayor’s Safer at Home Order. Businesses covered by the Worker Protection Order include hardware and building supply stores, nurseries, HVAC installers, property managers, and many others. Workers in these businesses must wear cloth face coverings over their noses and mouths while performing their work. These employers must provide and pay for the face coverings. They must also allow workers to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.
Tips For Employers: Both the paid sick leave ordinance and the worker protection order take effect on April 10, 2020. The paid sick leave ordinance is in effect through December 31, 2020, while the worker protection order is in effect until the local health emergency ends. If your organization employs workers within the Los Angeles city limits, review the ordinance and the worker protection order to determine whether they apply. Questions? Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney.