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Employees in L.A. Get 6 Sick Days starting 7/1/2016

By Thomas M Lee

6 Sick Days for employees in Los Angeles city starting 7/1/2016

Starting July 1, 2016, most employees within Los Angeles city will be entitled to accrue six sick days (48 hours) of paid sick leave per year.

California state law already provides that employer must provide three days (24 hours) of paid sick leave per year. However, this does not supersede local ordinances, and employers must comply with both the state and the local laws, whichever is more favorable to employees. Since the L.A. ordinanceis more favorable, employers within the city of Los Angeles must starting providing 48 hours of paid sick leave to their employees starting July 1, 2016.

Unlike state law, which contains exceptions for certain employees, such as health workers and flight crews, the L.A. city ordinance has no exceptions. Employees who work 30 days in Los Angeles within a year “from the commencement of employment” are eligible to receive the greater amount of paid sick leave.

The ordinance defines an “employee” to include all individuals who perform two or more hours per week within the geographic boundaries of the City. “Employer” is defined as including “a corporate officer or executive, who directly or indirectly or through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary service or staffing agency or similar entity, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours or working conditions of any Employee.” Thus, the ordinance appears to hold corporate officers and executives individually accountable. Employers with 25 or more employees must comply with the ordinance starting July 1, 2016, while employers with less than 25 employees have until July 1, 2017 to comply.

Current employees that meet the above definition must begin accruing or receive a grant of sick leave on July 1, 2016. Employees hired after July 1, 2016, will begin to accrue or will be granted paid sick leave on their date of hire. Employees may use paid sick leave beginning on the 90th day of employment or July 1, 2016, whichever is later. Covered employees will be entitled to use up to 48 hours of sick leave in “each year of employment, calendar year or 12-month period.” Accrued unused paid sick leave shall carry over to the following year of employment, but may be capped at 72 hours. Employers are free to set a higher cap or to not have cap at all.

Employers have a choice of either: (1) providing the entire 48 hours to an employee at the beginning of each year of employment, calendar year, or 12-month period (“lump grant”); or (2) having sick leave accrue at the rate of one hour of sick leave per every thirty 30 hours worked (“accrual”). Under the L.A. ordinance, up to 72 hours must carry over year to year. So, while an L.A. employee can use only 48 hours of sick pay in a year, the employee can carry over 72 hours of paid sick leave (or more, if the employer allows it).

It must be noted that L.A. employers do not need pay out unused sick days upon termination.

Finally, employers may require employees to provide reasonable documentation of an absence from work for which paid sick leave is or will be used.

Please note that the information we are providing here in our website is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship nor is it to be relied on as legal advice. For a free legal consultation by phone with attorney Thomas M. Lee, please call us or send us an email.

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