LA City Council OKs Sick Leave Expansion

Proposal would require employers in Los Angeles to offer twice the amount of sick leave mandated by the state.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to tentatively approve a proposal to require employers to offer at least six days of paid family and sick leave a year for workers -- twice the amount now required under state law.

The policy -- advanced last week by the Economic Development Committee --
would raise the mandated paid sick leave time from the 24 hours to 48 hours
per calendar year starting July 1.

The six days would be offered to workers who have worked at least 30 days within a year, with employers required to provide the leave upfront or through an accrual process of one hour for every 30 hours worked.

The accrued paid sick leave can be carried over to the next year under the plan. Employers would be able to cap the accrued hours at 72 hours, but they could also have a higher cap or set no cap at all.

Under the proposal, employers who already offer 48 hours of paid time off -- which are hours that can be used for sickness, personal time off or vacation -- would not need to increase the amount of time off they make available.

The city attorney must now craft the wording of the ordinance and bring the draft back for another round of discussion and votes.

Council aides said the ordinance language would need to be approved by May in order for the proposal to go into effect by the intended deadline of July 1. That is also the day the first phase of the gradual minimum wage hike to $15 per hour is set to go into effect, with large businesses scheduled to begin paying employees at least $10.50 an hour.

Backers of the minimum wage had pushed for the increased paid sick leave to be included in the law, but some members of the business community had initially raised concerns, saying the issue needed more study.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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