On March 27, 2020, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new ordinance that would have required Los Angeles employers to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental sick leave relating to COVID-19.  The broadly-worded ordinance provoked opposition from some in the business community. 

Last night, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a Public Order Under City of Los Angeles Emergency Authority (“Emergency Order”) that suspends the City Council’s ordinance and created a modified form of supplemental paid sick leave applicable to employers with 500 or more employees in the City of Los Angeles or 2,000 or more in the United States. Mayor Garcetti stressed the need to “anticipate that workers could suffer through layoffs if … [the City] imposes excessive burdens and costs upon businesses – many of which have ceased operations, lost customers, and sustained catastrophic losses due to this pandemic.”

Under the Emergency Order, eligible employees who work at least 40 hours per week or are classified as full-time will receive 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave, based on their average biweekly pay between February 3 and March 4, 2020.  Eligible part-time employees will receive supplemental sick leave no greater than their average biweekly pay over the same period.  Supplemental sick leave is capped at $511 per day and/or $5,110 in the aggregate per employee.

Employees may use supplemental sick leave for the following purposes:

  • Due to their own COVID-19 infection or because a public health official or healthcare provider recommends they isolate or quarantine themselves;
  • Because the employee is at least 65 years old or has certain health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19 (e.g., heart disease, weakened immune system, etc.);
  • To care for a family member who is not sick but is being quarantined or self-isolating; or
  • To provide care for a family member whose senior care provider or whose school or childcare provider temporarily ceases operations, if the employee is unable to secure a reasonable alternative caregiver.

Like the City Council ordinance, the Mayor’s Emergency Order exempts emergency and health services personnel.  However, the Emergency Order also exempts the following:

  • Critical parcel delivery employees;
  • Employees whose employer has a paid leave or paid time off policy that provides a minimum of 160 hours of paid leave annually;
  • Certain new businesses, except for specified construction and film production businesses;
  • Employers who were closed or not operating for a period of 14 or more days due to an emergency order related to the COVID-19 pandemic or who provided employees with at least 14 days of leave;
  • Government agencies; and
  • Certain employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.
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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020; www.jurispub.com), co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.

Photo of Philippe A. Lebel Philippe A. Lebel

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class- and/or representative-action context, at both the trial and…

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class- and/or representative-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies.

In addition to his litigation work, Phil regularly advises clients regarding compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, and assists a variety of companies and financial firms in evaluating labor and employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. Phil also has experience assisting employers with sensitive employee investigations and trainings.  Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Phil has assisted clients in a wide array of sectors including in the biotech, education, entertainment, financial services, fitness, healthcare, high-tech, legal services, manufacturing, media, professional services, sports, and staffing industries, among others.

Phil regularly speaks on emerging issues for employers and has been published or quoted in Law360, the Daily JournalThe Hollywood ReporterBusiness Insurance, and SHRM.org regarding a variety of labor and employment law topics.

During college, Phil worked on political campaigns in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, and was an intern with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Phil is a former member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.