September 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 270

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September 24, 2021

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The City of Los Angeles Quietly Updates Its Rules and FAQs Regarding the Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

The sick leave landscape is constantly evolving, and the City of Angeles is no exception to that rule. This past month the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards (“OWS”) revised its rules and regulations (“Revised Rules”) as well the FAQs regarding its Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (the “Ordinance”).  As reported here, the City’s Ordinance originally was effective July 1, 2016. The OWS has now provided further clarification regarding several issues as detailed here:

Exempt Employees

The FAQs clarify that the Ordinance does not apply to “exempt employees.” According to the FAQs, such “exempt” employees include employees who are not “entitled to a minimum wage from any Employer under the California minimum wage law, as provided under California Labor Code section 1197 and wage orders published by the California Industrial Welfare Commission.” The FAQs further specify that such employees, who are not covered by the Ordinance, include exempt “white collar” employees.  Regardless, it remains necessary to provide exempt employees with sick leave under California state law.

Rate of Pay

The Revised Rules also provide for the same rate of pay requirements as state law. Specifically, employers must either calculate sick leave rate of pay either: (1) in the same manner as the regular rate of pay for the workweek in which the sick leave is used (whether or not the Employee actually works overtime that workweek); or (2) by dividing total wages (excluding overtime premium pay) by the total number of hours worked in the full pay periods during the last 90 days of employment. Previously, the Ordinance, rules, and FAQs were silent on this issue.

Smaller Employers

Effective July 1, 2017, the Ordinance will apply to employers with 25 or fewer nonexempt Employees working in the City of Los Angeles (in addition to employers with more than 25 Employees, who were covered as of July 1, 2016). The Revised Rules provide that such smaller employers using a front-loading method on July 1, 2017, may provide 24 hours for the period covering July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Effective January 1, 2018, the employer is required to provide the full 48 hours.

“Reasonable” Requests for Sick Leave

The Revised Rules also address the requisite notice for requesting sick leave. The originally published Rules provided that an employer could not deny an employee’s request to use sick leave if the employee communicated the request more than one hour before the beginning of the employee’s shift. Under the Revised Rules, an employee need only give notice “as soon as practical, as may occur in the case of unanticipated illness or a medical emergency” or provide “advance notice” for planned absences, such as doctor’s appointments.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 95
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About this Author

Susan E. Groff, Jackson Lewis, disability accommodation lawyer, protected absence attorney
Principal

Susan E. Groff is a Principal in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and counsels management on various employment related issues.

Ms. Groff advises employers on complying with federal and California requirements for disability accommodation and protected leaves of absence.

In addition, Ms. Groff counsels employers on a host of other employment issues, including wage and hour laws, harassment and discrimination complaints, workplace investigations,...

213-689-0404
Benjamin A. Tulis, Employment, Benefits, Litigation Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Associate

Benjamin Tulis is an Associate in the Los Angeles, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on employment litigation, benefits litigation, transactions, and advice and counsel within the labor and employment law sector.

Mr. Tulis represents employers and individual defendants in a wide range of employment and labor matters, including wrongful termination, matters arising under ERISA, administrative matters, wage and hour class actions, and matters involving competition and restrictive covenants.

213-689-0404
Ellen Bandel, Jackson Lewis, personnel policies lawyer, corporate reorganizations attorney
Associate

Ellen M. Bandel is an Associate in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Bandel assists both unionized and union-free clients with a full-range of labor and employee relations matters, including assisting clients in numerous industries with the development and maintenance of personnel policies, reorganizations and reductions in force, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, wrongful discharge, and other workplace litigation. Ms. Bandel also advises clients on compliance with the myriad...

(212) 545-4000
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