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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

Mayor Orders Big Businesses to Pay Sick Leave

Mayor Eric Garcetti late Tuesday issued an emergency order that makes some companies pay sick leave to employees, effectively suspending a similar but more stringent ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council on March 27. Several business organizations lobbied to change the City Council’s version. The order, which goes into effect immediately and lasts two calendar weeks after the city’s local emergency period ends on April 19, requires employers with 500 or more employees within the city or 2,000 nationally to pay supplemental sick leave for those employed from Feb. 3 through March 4. The City Council’s measure would have affected employers with 500-plus employees nationally. A collective bargaining agreement can supersede the mayor’s order, but only if it contains a COVID-19-related sick leave provision, according to the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, one of the business groups involved in the lobbying. It does still close a loophole made by the federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act that makes a similar requirement for paid sick leave, but for businesses with 499 or fewer workers. Full-time employees will get 80 hours while part-time employees will be granted supplemental sick leave based on an average two-week pay over the period of Feb. 3 through March 4. Details and the full order are here: https://files.constantcontact.com/2909e963301/9a9b3b12-ebdf-4c2a-ad5f-26178884b1d7.pdf Exempt businesses include emergency and health services personnel, critical parcel delivery companies, government entities and companies closed or not operating for 14 days or more due to the city’s emergency order. Employers that already provide a sick leave minimum of 160 hours annually are also exempt, as well as new businesses that set up shop within city boundaries from Sept. 4 through March 4. Those looking to get the “new business” exemption could not have been in business in the 2018 tax year or be in the construction or film production industries. Workers would not need to turn in a doctor’s note or other documentation to receive supplemental sick leave.

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