What Employers Need To Know About COVID-19 Leave Legislation | Part 3
This year has been unpredictable with the global health pandemic, and one response has been numerous new federal, state and local leave laws. We understand that for many it’s been difficult keeping up with these changes, especially leave case managers who are overburdened with an increase in medical and quarantine leave cases.
In the first part of this blog series, we covered the federal level of new leave legislation related to COVID-19, and in the second part we covered the state level. In part three, we’ll provide a brief summary of updated and new local leave laws. Be sure to check out our best practice resource for leave management during COVID-19 for more in-depth coverage of all of these legislative updates.
In response to COVID-19, Long Beach enacted a Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance on May 19, 2020.
This ordinance covers:
- Employers with 500 or more employees nationally, excluding those who, either in part or in whole, are required to provide paid sick leave benefits under the FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
- Any individual the employer hires who performs any work in Long Beach. As noted in the law, the California Labor Code (section 2750.3) determines whether workers are considered independent contractors or employees.
The ordinance includes the following exclusions and exemptions:
- Employers may exclude employees who are healthcare providers and emergency responders.
- Employers are exempt from providing supplemental paid sick leave to employees who already receive generous paid leave. Generous paid leave is defined as a minimum of 160 hours of paid leave annually.
- The ordinance provides guidelines for companies with unionized workers and when a collective bargaining agreement may supersede the requirements outlined.
Employees are eligible for this leave immediately (unless they can work remotely and are healthy enough to do so) for the following reasons:
- Employee must quarantine or self-isolate as issued by federal, state, or local order due to COVID-19, or is caring for someone who is in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19.
- Employee must quarantine or self-isolate as advised by a healthcare provider due to COVID-19, or is caring for someone who is advised to do so by a healthcare provider.
- Employee is seeking a medical diagnosis because they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Employee must care for a minor child because their school, daycare or childcare provider is closed/unavailable due to COVID-19 and the employee is unable to find an alternative caregiver.
Eligible employees are entitled to 80 hours of leave if they are full-time and part-time employees are entitled to an amount equal to the average number of hours worked over a two-week period.
The ordinance includes the calculation employers are required to use to determine the daily hours of leave available to part-time employees.
The City of Los Angeles passed a Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) Ordinance on March 27, 2020, which was then replaced and superseded by the Mayor’s Public Order on April 10, 2020. The Public Order will remain in effect until two calendar weeks after the COVID-19 local emergency period ends.
Covered employers are those with either:
- 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles.
- 2,000 or more employees within the United States.
The following types of employers are exempted from coverage under the Public Order:
- Emergency and health service providers.
- Global parcel delivery service providers.
- Those who provide paid leave or paid time off that equals or is greater than 160 hours of paid leave per year.
To see the full list of employers exempted from coverage, make sure to visit our best practice resource for leave management during COVID-19.
Covered employees are those who perform any work for a covered, non-exempt employer within the geographic boundaries of Los Angeles. The employee must have been employed with the same employer from February 3, 2020 through March 4, 2020.
Eligible employees qualify for Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for the following reasons:
- Employee must self-isolate or quarantine, as issued by a public health official or health provider, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Employee is taking time off because they are at least 65 years of age or are at-risk because of a health condition.
- Employee needs to care for a family member (not necessarily sick) but because they were recommended to self-isolate or quarantine as recommended by a public health official or healthcare provider.
- Employee needs to care for a family member because their school, senior care provider or childcare provider is unavailable/closed.
Full-time employees who work 40 hours per week (or classified as full-time) will receive 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week and are not classified as full-time will receive no greater than the average of their two-week pay from February 3, 2020 to March 4, 2020.
San Francisco enacted the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) on April 17, 2020 to address the gap in emergency paid leave coverage created by the FFCRA.
This ordinance covers:
- Employers with 500 or more employees.
- Employees who work full-time or part-time within the City.
Employees are eligible for leave if they meet the criteria for one of the following reasons:
- The employee is subject to an individual or general self-isolation or quarantine order related to COVID-19 by a federal, state or local level government.
- The employee is advised to self-isolate or quarantine by a healthcare provider.
- The employee is seeking a medical diagnosis because they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19.
- The employee is taking care of a family member in self-isolation or quarantine.
- The employee is taking care of a family member due to their place of care being closed because of the public health emergency related to COVID-19.
- The employee is “vulnerable” as defined by the ordinance.
Eligible employees are entitled to 80 hours of emergency leave and part-time employees are entitled to the average hours they were scheduled over a two week period over the previous six months ending on February 25, 2020.
The City of San José issued the Urgency Ordinance No. 30390 which came into effect April 7, 2020 and will be in effect until December 31, 2020. Eligible employees include those who work for essential businesses in San José within the city’s geographical boundaries. This ordinance is meant to fill the gaps in the federal FFCRA and includes businesses with less than 50 or more than 500 employees.
Employees may take this leave for the following reasons:
- The employee must self-isolate or quarantine based on federal, state or local orders.
- The employee must self-isolate or quarantine as advised by a healthcare provider.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for a minor child or adult whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.
Eligible employees are entitled to 80 hours of leave if they are full-time. If they aren’t considered full-time, they are entitled to their average hours worked in a two week period. According to a Frequently Asked Questions document released by the City, part-time employees’ average hours should be calculated using their hours worked per week between October 8, 2019 and April 7, 2020.
Remaining proactive and on top of updated and new leave laws is important during this chaotic and uncertain time. It’s not only important for your business and remaining compliant, it’s also important for your employees, ensuring they get the right amount of leave.
Want to learn how Presagia Leave can help you keep up with the latest COVID-19 leave legislation and more? Schedule your free discovery call today!
Founded in 1987, Presagia has a long history of helping organizations solve complex business problems with easy-to-use solutions. Today, this means providing cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to be more efficient, control lost time and risk, and strengthen compliance with federal, state and municipal leave and accommodation laws.