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Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties Vote on Extending, Expanding Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

At the start of the pandemic, the CARES act and the FFCRA were introduced on a federal level as a direct response to some of the hardships people were facing due to COVID-19. Both relief bills expired at the end of 2020.  On December 27, 2020, congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act to extend and expand on some of the original pieces that were included in the first two relief bills.

Similarly, we saw various local jurisdictions implement their own relief ordinances and most were also set to expire at the end of 2020. Los Angeles and Sonoma County in California voted on whether and how to extend their Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) ordinances on January 26, 2021.

Los Angeles County extended and expanded the supplemental paid sick leave ordinance they had expired in December of 2020. The new ordinance is applicable in the county’s unincorporated areas and extends the law’s duration retroactively to January 1, 2021. They advised that it remain in effect until two calendar weeks after the county has announced that their local COVID-19 emergency has ended.

The original ordinance applied to employers with 500 or more employees in the county’s unincorporated areas. This current amendment extends over to all employers as of January 1, 2021. Additionally, employees that used all of the available L.A. County SPSL or FFCRA emergency paid sick leave in 2020 are ineligible for more SPSL through L.A. County in 2021. It also allows employers to offset the amount of L.A. County SPSL they must provide employees by the amount of leave they provided through the FFCRA.

The SPSL calculations standards through L.A. County will continue to use the period of January 1, 2020, through April 28, 2020, as in the original ordinance. However, they remain unclear on how employers are to cover employees hired after April 28, 2020. Similarly, they have not addressed how employers previously covered by the federal FFCRA and therefore were never eligible for the L.A. County SPSL, should calculate the new leave amount.

Similarly, Sonoma County has extended their ordinance through June 30, 2021. They however are not retroactively extending their dates of eligibility. This means that any employee that was in need of leave between the original expiration date of December 31, 2020, and the day this was extended, will not be covered.

Many local California supplemental paid sick leave laws have been extended for 2021 including Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, and Santa Rosa.

Is there anything Payroll Systems can help you with as you accommodate rapid legislation changes? Reach out and talk to us about the easy-to-scale solutions you need for your business.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.