Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment law landscape has continued to change at a rapid pace. This includes recent changes to federal, state, and local leave requirements for COVID-19 related sick leave.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employers with fewer than 500 employees were required to provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave effective April 1, 2020. The FFCRA leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020.
In California, the requirement to provide statewide supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons also expired on December 31, 2020. However, many localities continue to maintain COVID-19 sick leave requirements. These local laws were enacted to cover employers with 500 or more employees that were not required to provide paid sick leave benefits under the FFCRA and to provide up to 80 hours of sick leave for covered employees.
City of Long Beach. The Long Beach City Council enacted the COVID-19 Paid Supplemental Sick Leave Ordinance, which was passed as an emergency measure and took effect immediately on May 22, 2020. The Ordinance does not contain an express sunset date. Rather, the City Manager is required to report to the City Council and Mayor regarding the effectiveness of the Ordinance and whether it is still necessary based on the City’s recovery from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on these reports, the City Council will determine the sunset date of the Ordinance. On December 8, 2020, the 90-day report to the City Council recommended that the City Council continue the Ordinance for another 90-day period or until the public health emergency declaration has expired and businesses in impacted industries are allowed to fully reopen. The deadline for the next report is March 6, 2021.
City of Los Angeles. On April 7, 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a Public Order on Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19. The Public Order remains in effect until two calendar weeks after the local state of emergency for COVID-19 is lifted. The Los Angeles Declaration of Local Emergency was issued on March 4, 2020 and continues to remain in effect.
County of Los Angeles. On April 28, 2020, the County of Los Angeles enacted the Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The supplemental paid sick leave benefits provided under the Ordinance expired on December 31, 2020. On January 5, 2021, the Board of Supervisors directed the County Counsel to draft an ordinance extending these paid sick leave benefits. The County Counsel must report back with draft language before the January 26, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting.
City of San Jose. On April 7, 2020, the City Council adopted the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. On January 5, 2021, the City Council approved an extension of the Ordinance’s deadline from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
County of San Mateo. On July 7, 2020, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The Board of Supervisors extended the Ordinance’s expiration from December 31, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
City of Sacramento. On June 30, 2020, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and the City Council adopted Chapter 5.160 of the Sacramento City Code Relating to Sacramento Worker Protection, Health, and Safety, which provided additional paid sick leave for employees to use for COVID-19-related reasons. The City Council extended the Ordinance’s expiration from December 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
County of Sacramento. On September 1, 2020, the Board of Supervisors passed the Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act of 2020, which required additional paid sick leave for covered employees to use for COVID-19-related reasons. On December 15, 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved an extension of the Ordinance’s deadline from December 31, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
City and County of San Francisco. The Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance took effect on April 17, 2020. The Board of Supervisors has reauthorized this emergency ordinance through February 11, 2021 unless reenacted by the Board of Supervisors, or upon the termination of the Public Health Emergency, whichever occurs first.
City of Oakland. On May 12, 2020, the Oakland City Council passed the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. The Ordinance expired on December 31, 2020, but the City is considering a proposal to extend these sick leave requirements. The City Council is set to discuss the extension on January 19, 2021.
City of Santa Rosa. On July 7, 2020, the City Council enacted Ordinance 2020-006, which required certain employers to provide temporary sick leave benefits for employees. The Ordinance expired on December 31, 2020. On January 12, 2021, the City’s Economic Development Subcommittee recommended that the City Council consider whether to re-adopt or expand the expired Ordinance. Updates should be forthcoming.
County of Sonoma. On August 18, 2020, the County enacted the Urgency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which expired on December 31, 2020. To date, the County has not raised the issue of extending its expired paid sick leave requirement.