New Paid Sick Leave Laws in Los Angeles and San Diego Effective in July


Just when you thought it was safe to finalize and distribute those 2016 California employee handbooks...not so fast! The City of Los Angeles is now implementing its own paid sick leave law (attached to the new city minimum wage ordinance), in addition to the paid sick leave law implemented by the State of California in July 2015.

This law will now require employers with 26 or more employees to offer those employees who work within the City of Los Angeles six days (48 hours) of paid sick leave per year. Note that even if your business is not within the city limits, but your employees perform even two hours of work per week within the city, those employees must be paid the new minimum wage of $10.50 an hour starting July 1 and must accrue the new six days of sick leave for the hours they work within the city limits. This will affect delivery drivers, bus drivers, caterers, dog walkers, maintenance workers, and any employers who themselves are not located in Los Angeles, but whose employees go in and out of the city limits on a regular or sporadic basis. It also will require those employers to track the number of hours that those employees spend within city boundaries.   

Much like the state laws, the new City of Los Angeles paid sick leave law requires that all employees receive this sick leave, including part-time and temporary employees, who must accrue this benefit at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, and they must be able to access it after 90 days of employment. Also like the state law, the benefit may be front loaded or accrued and carried over to the next year.

This law will take effect on July 1, 2016, for employers with at least 26 employees, and on January 1, 2017, for employers with fewer than 26 employees.

San Diego has had a minimum wage ordinance with a paid sick leave component on suspended status for two years, which went to the polls on June 7. The ballot measure passed, and San Diego will see its minimum wage increase, like Los Angeles, to $10.50 an hour effective as soon as the election results can be confirmed (likely mid-July). With that confirmation, San Diego will have its own paid sick leave policy of five days, also taking effect July 2016. It, too, will accrue one hour for every 30 hours, and works in a very similar but not exactly the same manner as the state and Los Angeles city policies. 

Santa Monica maintains its status as the city with the most robust paid sick leave policy. Santa Monica employers with more than 50 employees will have to provide nine days of paid sick leave, starting in 2017. 

How Employers are Affected
Employers are encouraged to address their policies and payroll services immediately in order to coordinate the best way to comply with these fast-approaching deadlines. Our lawmakers have given us very little time to work out the kinks in these issues. There are some complicated scenarios that arise with having so many different laws affecting areas in such close proximity to each other.

If you have questions on how these laws affect your business, please contact your Lathrop Gage attorney or the attorney listed above.

Wonder if your business is located within city limits of Los Angeles? Click here to view a map.

Food and Hospitality Industry
For our friends in the hospitality industry, we will be discussing these paid sick leave laws at our Food and Hospitality Roundtable on July 20 at the Luxe Hotel. Click here to register.