Los Angeles City employers, there is a new leave in town called COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Leave. If you are an employer with 26 or more employees, this may have limited impact because there are only new provisions for this leave if all other required leaves have been exhausted. The COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Sick Leave Order (the Order) was signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti on June 24, 2021 and applies retroactively to January 1, 2021. The Order will remain in effect until September 30, 2021 and requires that all private employers within the city of Los Angeles to provide COVID-19 Vaccine Leave (CVL).
What is covered?
Employers are required to provide paid sick leave for absences by employees related to the COVID-19 vaccine. For purposes of this leave, an employee is defined as a person that performs work within the City of Los Angeles and has been employed by the same employer for 60 days or longer.
Employees are entitled to leave to receive, or recover from, COVID-19 vaccination injections. This includes time to travel to and from injections.
How much time is available?
The amount of CVL an employee is entitled to is dependent on two (2) criteria:
1. Does the employer employ 25 or fewer employees; and
2. Is the employee full-time or part-time?
Employers of 25 or fewer employees:
· Full-time employee is entitled to–
o up to four (4) hours per injection (is inclusive of travel time); and
o up to eight (8) hours for vaccination recovery.
· Part-time employee is entitled to-
o Leave prorated based on the average number of hours worked in the 60 days preceding the injection or recovery. This amount is up to four (4) hours for injections and up to eight (8) hours for recovery.
Employers with 26 or more employees:
Under Labor Code section 248.2 and Mayor Garcetti’s Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) Order, these employers are already required to provide paid leave for vaccine purposes. If these leave options have been exhausted, then employers are required to provide additional time as outlined above for full-time and part-time employees.
What is the Rate of Pay?
Non-exempt employees must be compensated at the highest of the following rates:
1. The employee’s normal rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave was taken.
2. The City of Los Angeles’ hourly minimum wage of $15 per hour; or
3. The employee’s average hourly pay for the preceding 60 days (excluding overtime).
Exempt employees’ wages should be calculated in the same manner other forms of leave are calculated. The Order caps pay at $511/day ($255.5 for each 4-hour period), or $1,022 in the aggregate, unless the federal government established a higher pay amount.
What is the Retroactive Provision?
CVL is retroactive to January 1, 2021, meaning employees that took leave for reasons that would qualify under CVL and were paid less than what the Order has established, may be entitled to additional compensation. If an employee makes a request, either verbally or in writing, the employer is required to adjust payments by the next full pay period. If employees were forced to use vacation, sick or other paid benefit or unpaid time-off, then upon the employee’s request, this time us required to be reclassified with the necessary restoration adjustments made.
Any reclassification, restoration, or adjustment of other leaves previously taken, as well as the remaining balance under CVL are required to be reflected in the employee’s paystub on or before the next full pay period following the employee’s request.
Can I Offset?
If employers already provided supplemental benefits for leave taken on or after January 1, 2021, that were (1) payable for the same reasons as CVL; and (2) compensated the employee in an amount equal to or greater than the required amount under CVL, then the hours provided may offset the required new Order.
Looking for quick updates, reminders, and employment information? Follow us on LinkedIn