Paid Sick Leave Laws in Los Angeles and San Diego

July 1, 2016

New Paid Sick Leave Ordinances in Los Angeles and San Diego Introduce Compliance Complexities.

On June 2, 2016, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance (No. 184320), adopting both new minimum wage rules and paid sick leave benefits applicable to all employees. In San Diego, a similar ballot measure on wage and leave requirements was approved by voters on June 7, 2016.

Effective July 1, 2016, employees who perform at least two hours of work in a particular week within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles are to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year. Employees may carry over up to 72 hours from year to year.

Under San Diego’s ballot measure (Proposition I), employees in the city are to receive at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and may carry over unused leave from year to year. Employers may limit hours used in a year at 40.

Many employers will have recently implemented new paid sick leave policies in compliance with CA state law or the paid sick leave provision in the IATSE Basic Agreement (and West Coast Studio Local Agreements), the IATSE Area Standards Agreement, the Basic Crafts Agreements, the Location Managers, Local #399 Agreement, The Animation Guild, Local 839 Agreement and the Casting Directors Agreement, Locals #399 and #817. However, the Los Angeles and San Diego ordinances do not include an exception for employees covered under a valid collective bargaining unit, meaning all employees working in Los Angeles are subject to the more employee-friendly paid sick leave provisions going into effect July 1. 2016 (San Diego’s new requirements are set to take effect as soon as the election results are certified, which could be as early as July 2016. According to City Attorney, Jan Goldsmith, the ordinance will not be retroactive).

Employers now face the possibility of having to comply with a patchwork of state and local sick leave laws. Cast & Crew provides paid sick leave solutions for its exclusive clients as well as Cast & Crew clients who use multiple payroll providers.

Annual Use Caps

What are some of the key differences between Los Angeles’ and San Diego’s ordinances, California state laws, and the collectively bargained provisions currently in effect?

Under the provisions in the CBAs referred to above, and CA state law, an employer may limit an employees’ use of accrued sick days to 24 hours/3 days per year. Under Los Angeles’ ordinance, an employee may use up to 48 hours/6 days of accrued sick time per year. Under San Diego’s, an employee may use up to 40 hours/5 days of accrued sick time per year.

Accrual Caps

Under CA state law and the CBA provisions, an employer may cap accrued sick time at 48 hours/6 days. Under Los Angeles’ ordinance, an employer may cap accrual at 72 hours. San Diego’s ordinance does not permit an employer to cap accrual. 1

Annual Carry Over of Accrued Sick Time

Under CA state law and the CBA provisions, if an employer provides sick leave in a lump grant – i.e. providing the entire paid sick leave allotment at the beginning of each year of employment, calendar year, or 12-month period 2 – unused sick leave does not carry over. If an accrual method is used, employees may carry over up to 48 hours of paid sick leave. Under the Los Angeles ordinance, up to 72 accrued hours must carry over. Therefore, an L.A. employee can use up to 48 hours of accrued sick pay in a year, but can carry over 72 additional hours of accrued leave.

Under San Diego’s ordinance, an employer is not permitted to cap accrual, so all unused, accrued sick leave must be carried over to the next year.

Covered Employees

The CA State ordinance applies to all employees. The provisions in the applicable CBAs apply to all employees included within the scope of the agreement. The Los Angeles ordinance applies to employees “entitled to payment of a minimum wage from any Employer under the CA minimum wage law, as provided under Section 1197 of the CA Labor Code and wage orders published by the CA Industrial Welfare Commission.”

Collective Bargaining Agreement Exemption

CA State law has a limited CBA exemption. Los Angeles and San Diego have no CBA exemptions.

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The proceeding information is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as or relied upon as legal advice and is subject to change without notice. If you have questions concerning particular situations, specific payroll administration or labor relations issues, please contact your counsel.

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