Signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti on June 2, 2016, Los Angeles’ new minimum wage ordinance (“the Los Angeles Ordinance”) essentially provides employees within the City of Los Angeles with twice the amount of paid sick leave afforded by California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.

The Los Angeles Ordinance largely tracks the requirements of California’s state sick leave law, with some appreciable differences, including the following:

  • Higher accrual and usage caps. While California law caps accrual at 48 hours/6 days, with few exceptions, the Los Angeles Ordinance caps accrual at 72 hours. Similarly, while California caps usage at 24 hours/3 days per year, the Los Angeles Ordinance caps usage at 48 hours per year.
  • Expansive definition of family members. In addition to the family members for whom leave can be taken under California law, employees subject to the Los Angeles Ordinance may take leave for qualifying purposes “for any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
  • PTO policy accrual method. Under California law, employers may meet their paid sick leave obligations through a PTO policy that uses a non-hourly accrual method so long as it provides no less than 24 hours/3 days of paid sick leave by the 120th calendar day of employment. The Los Angeles Ordinance is silent on this issue. (However, the ordinance contemplates that the Designated Administrative Agency may promulgate guidelines and rules that may permit an employer to use a non-hourly accrual method if it results in a policy more generous than the minimums dictated by the Los Angeles Ordinance).
  • Reasonable documentation. Unlike California law, the Los Angeles Ordinance explicitly allows employers to request reasonable documentation to support the need for the leave.

The Los Angeles Ordinance is also subject to the enforcement, posting, and recordkeeping provisions set forth in Los Angeles Ordinance No. 184319. To view the Los Angeles Ordinances in their entirety, please click here and here.