Los Angeles Ordinance Requires Private Employers to Provide Employees Paid COVID-19 Vaccine Leave

On May 18th, 2021, the Board of Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles enacted an ordinance requiring private employers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County to provide paid leave to Los Angeles employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the 2021 California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Leave (SPSL) law requires public and private employers with more than 25 employees to provide eligible employees up to 80 hours of paid leave from January 1st to September 30th for specified COVID-19 reasons, including time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and recover from any vaccine-related symptoms.

The Los Angeles ordinance provides Los Angeles employees paid leave in addition to job-protected paid leave that California employees are currently entitled to under the 2021 COVID-19 SPSL law and California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. However, the Los Angeles COVID-19 vaccine leave is available only to Los Angeles employees who have exhausted all leave under the 2021 California SPSL law. As defined under the ordinance, full-time employees who have exhausted all leave under the 2021 California SPSL law are now eligible for up to four hours of Los Angeles COVID-19 vaccine leave at their regular rate of pay for each injection. So that is eight hours total to receive a 2-dose vaccine. As defined under the ordinance, part-time employees who have exhausted all leave under the 2021 California SPSL law are eligible for paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the prorated amount of four hours per injection based on their normally scheduled work hours over the two-week period preceding the injection.

Private employers with employees in Los Angeles should prepare to offer eligible employees paid time off to receive the vaccine. Like the 2021 California COVID-19 SPSL law, Los Angeles employers must display a written notice of the ordinance for employees in a conspicuous place. As of the writing of this communication, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (LACDCBA) has not published the model poster. Employers are encouraged to continue to monitor its website here and post the notice as soon as possible following its publication.