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COVID-19: Local Labor Standard Policies in California

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Part of the Labor Center’s Covid-19 Series: Resources, Data, and Analysis for California

Local governments in California and across the US have begun to enact policies to protect workers against the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, supplementing and filling gaps in federal and state policies. Key federal policies — including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — provide sick leave, paid family leave, and unemployment aid to some workers affected by the pandemic, but exclude large swaths of workers depending on firm size and immigration status. California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a number of executive orders to increase access to unemployment and disability insurance, workers compensation, health care, and paid sick leave. Much work still needs to be done to ensure that all workers have access to sick leave and health care and to protect job security.

Below is a list of California city and county ordinances, proclamations, mayoral directives, and orders that expand labor standards for workers affected by the pandemic, such as paid sick leave, health care, worker retention/right of return, and policies that lift workers’ voices in firm, industry, and government responses to the pandemic.

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis. To request to add a local policy to this page, please email nari@berkeley.edu. For more information on federal and state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact of the pandemic on California, please see our landing page, COVID-19 Series: Resources, Data, and Analysis for California. For information on California occupational safety and health standards related to COVID-19, please see COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Worker Health Resources, compiled by the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program.

 

Paid Sick Leave

City of Los Angeles

Paid Sick Leave Order: Private employers with 500 or more employees in Los Angeles or 2,000 or more employees in the U.S. must provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who work in Los Angeles can use paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective April 7, 2020 until two weeks after the city’s emergency order ends.

County of Los Angeles

Paid Sick Leave Ordinance: Private employers with 500 or more employees in the U.S. that are not required to provide paid sick leave under the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act must provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who work in Los Angeles county can use paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective April 28, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

City of Oakland

Paid Sick Leave Ordinance: Employers with 50 or more employees, franchise businesses, and some small businesses in Oakland must provide employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who work in Oakland for at least two hours can use paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective May 12, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

City and County of San Francisco

Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance: Private employers with 500 or more employees are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who work in San Francisco can use paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective April 17, 2020 until the city’s emergency order ends or 61 days after the ordinance was enacted, whichever comes first.

City of San Jose

Paid Sick Leave Ordinance: Private employers in San Jose that are not required to provide paid sick leave under the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act must provide employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Eligible employees who perform at least two hours of essential work in San Jose can use paid sick leave if they are unable to work due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective April 7, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

 

Worker Retention

City of Long Beach

Worker Retention Ordinance: Commercial property and hotel employers with 25 or more employees in Long Beach must follow certain worker retention guidelines if there is a change in business ownership. The successor business must hire eligible employees from a preferential hiring list and retain employees for no less than 90 days. Effective June 22, 2020.

Right of Recall Ordinance: Commercial property and hotel employers with 25 or more employees in Long Beach must prioritize rehiring laid off employees as positions become available. Eligible employees include hotel and janitorial service employees who were laid off due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective June 22, 2020.

City of Los Angeles

Grocery, Drug Retail and Food Delivery Worker Protection Order: Grocery and drug store employers in Los Angeles and food delivery platforms that operate in the city are required to approve employee requests for schedule changes due to reasons related to COVID-19. Employers must offer any additional work hours to current employees before hiring new employees. Effective April 7, 2020 until the city’s emergency order ends.

Worker Retention Ordinance: Airport, commercial property, event center, and hotel employers in Los Angeles must follow certain worker retention guidelines if there is a change in business ownership. The successor business must hire eligible employees from a preferential hiring list and retain employees for no less than 90 days. Effective June 14, 2020.

Right of Recall Ordinance: Airport, commercial property, event center, and hotel employers in Los Angeles must prioritize rehiring laid off employees as positions become available. Eligible employees include janitorial, maintenance, security, and hospitality service employees who were laid off due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective June 14, 2020.

County of Los Angeles

Worker Retention Ordinance: Commercial property and hotel employers in Los Angeles county must follow certain worker retention guidelines if there is a change in business ownership. The successor business must hire eligible employees from a preferential hiring list and retain employees for no less than 90 days. Effective May 12, 2020.

Right of Recall Ordinance: Commercial property and hotel employers in Los Angeles county must prioritize rehiring laid off employees as positions become available. Eligible employees include janitorial, maintenance, security, and hospitality service employees who were laid off due to reasons related to COVID-19. Effective May 12, 2020.

 

Health Care

City and County of San Francisco

Health Plan Requirements Proclamation: City departments or agencies that enter COVID-19 essential services contracts must offer employees health benefits that meet certain coverage requirements. Eligible employees include janitorial, food delivery, food service, and cleaning service employees who work in San Francisco for at least two hours. Effective May 13, 2020 until the city’s emergency order ends.

SF Medical Reimbursement Account Cash Grant Proclamation: Workers with SF MRA account balances of at least $100 will receive a one-time grant of $500 to help pay for food, rent, utilities, and other basic needs. (Many private employers in San Francisco contribute to SF MRAs, administered by the SF City Option healthcare program, to meet the health care expenditure requirements of the city’s Health Care Security Ordinance.) Effective June 2, 2020.