In September, when Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867, employers hoped that the state-wide COVID-19 Supplemental Leave was a replacement for the patchwork of local ordinances. However, due to differences in coverage, many employers are faced with complying with the more stringent local ordinances. In particular, many local ordinances allow an employee to take paid leave to care for a family member if their school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19. AB 1867 does not provide leave for this purpose.
The local ordinances also have other differences that employers need to consider. One of the biggest is when they expire. AB 1867 provides that its leave provisions will sunset on the later of December 31, 2020, or expiration of any federal extension of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act established by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). However, several local ordinances differ, including the City of Los Angeles ordinance (2 weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency period) and the San Francisco ordinance (currently December 12, 2020, unless extended by the Board of Supervisors). Other ordinances, including the City of Oakland, City of San Diego, and County of Los Angeles contain language which allow for extensions beyond December 31, 2020, if approved by elected officials.
Employers in a jurisdiction that has adopted a local COVID-supplemental sick leave ordinance should ensure that they comply with both state and local laws. Jackson Lewis will continue to track the status of federal, state, and local ordinances pertaining to COVID-19 and paid sick leave. If you have questions about compliance with California leave requirements pertaining to COVID-19 contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.