Los Angeles: Sick Leave Law Revised

Like many other California cities, Los Angeles implemented its own sick leave ordinance. The ordinance requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 2 hours or more per week in the city of Los Angeles. There is a staggered effective date based on employer size. Employers with 26 or more employees were subject to the ordinance July 1, 2016; and employers with fewer than 26 employees must comply starting July 1, 2017.

For every 30 hours work, an employee accrues 1 hour of sick leave. When using this method, the employer may impose a maximum leave bank balance of 72 hours. As an alternative to the accrual method, the employer may provide 48 hours of paid sick leave as a lump sum. Under transition relief, large employers may have complied by front loading only 24 hours for July 1 through Dec. 31, 2016. New employees begin accruing on the date of hire, but cannot use the sick leave until after 90 days of employment.

Employees may use the sick leave for their own sickness or that of a family member or closely associated individual who has the equivalence of a family relationship.

On March 14, 2017, the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards (OWS) revised the paid sick leave requirements and guidance. Below are a summary of the most pertinent provisions.

  • An employer’s size is based on the number of covered employees working in Los Angeles. For businesses in operation prior to Jan. 1, 2016, size is based on 2015 data. On the other hand, for businesses in operation on or after Jan. 1, 2016, size is based on the first pay period data.
  • Small employers wishing to use the front load method may comply by providing a lump sum of 24 hours of paid sick leave for the period of July 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017.
  • If an employer’s policy does not fully comply with the ordinance, but is overall more generous to employees, the employer may file for approval.
  • Leave balances rollover to the next year.

Employers with existing paid leave policies are not required to provide additional leave if their existing practices comply with the ordinance. However, employers should carefully review to make sure that all aspects are in compliance, specifically providing paid sick leave to temporary and part-time employees if they work 2 hours or more in a week.

OWS, Paid Sick Leave FAQs

OWS, Paid Sick Leave Revised Regulations