The Los Angeles City Council voted 13 to 1 in favor of a proposed new law that would require employers in the Los Angeles area to offer their employees 6 days of paid leave per year, rather than the previously mandated 3 days. If passed, the law would go into effect by July 1st 2016.
Many Labor and Community Activists in Los Angeles have been pushing for an increase to the required amount of paid time off and it seems they’re finally being heard, but many local businesses don’t agree with the proposed law.
Supporters of the bill feel employees are forced to choose between their health and their jobs too often, while the opposition believes more allowed sick days will put a burden on local businesses and employers, especially when they are already facing other increased state requirements, like the increase in minimum wage. The opposition feels that more new rules and laws could potentially jeopardize the smaller businesses as they try to keep up financially with the bigger ones.
If the new law is passed, Los Angeles will join alongside San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Monica and about two dozen other cities nationwide that have a required minimum number of paid sick leave. Rusty Hicks, the Executive Secretary Treasurer of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor stated, “No longer will workers have to make a choice between putting food on the table and getting well.”
Employers argued that this new law could potentially hurt businesses, because it would require an employer to pay for another employee to come in and take over the responsibilities of the employee who took paid sick time off. Essentially, the proposed law would force them to pay two employees for many of those days. Some also argued that smaller businesses should be exempted from the proposed law.
The New Proposed Law
The existing California sick leave requirement is 3 days; this new proposed law would increase the sick leave requirement in Los Angeles to 6 days for employees who have worked with a company 30 days or more. Employers would be able to choose between a couple of methods for providing employees those sick days. They can provide the employees the days upfront, or employees could accrue their sick days. If by accrual, employees who have worked for the company for more than 30 days would accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. While this accrual method matches the current CA law, the minimum cap becomes 6 days instead of the current 3.
According to the proposal, employers can allow their employees to roll their unused sick days into the next year and are allowed to cap the rollover accrual at 9 days of paid sick leave. However, employers will not be required to pay their employees for unused sick days.
The City Council did create a one-year exemption for the smaller businesses in the Los Angeles area. The new law could go into effect in July 2016 for business that have more than 25 employees, while business with less than 25 employees will be given an additional year before they would be required to comply.
Following the vote on Tuesday, the proposed law will be written into a draft by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s and the City Council will meet again sometime before May 1st to discuss further and hold a second vote. More information pertaining to this new law will be available after the City Council meets for their discussion and second voting.
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If you have questions about how this proposed law may affect your business, PAYDAY is here to help. Our expert staff can help you get answers to your questions and can provide solutions to help you stay in compliance with new legislation. Give us a call at (714) 467-3434.