Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

May 1, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL)
The DOL’s Office of Compliance Initiatives is hosting another national online dialogue (Opening America’s Workplaces Again) as an effort to support American workers and businesses as the nation reopens.  The DOL is looking for your feedback on the following topics:

  1. Reopening businesses;
  2. Commuting safely;
  3. Working safely;
  4. Accommodating members of vulnerable populations;
  5. Supporting America’s families; and
  6. Reducing regulatory burdens.

The dialogue is open now through May 7, 2020.  If you’d like to participate, go here.

Los Angeles County
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has enacted an interim urgency ordinance that requires private employers with 500 or more employees (nationally) to provide supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) to covered employees (individuals who perform any work within the geographic boundaries of the County with the exception of those working in the food sector).

An employer’s obligation to begin providing SPSL is March 31, 2020; however, those who provided additional paid leave for COVID-19-related purposes over and above an employee’s regular or previously accrued leaves (e.g. sick or personal leaves), the obligation to provide SPSL is reduced by every hour an employer allowed an employee to take paid leave for COVID-19-related purposes.

Full-time employees are eligible for 80 hours of SPSL while those that work fewer than 40 hours per week are eligible for SPSL in an amount no greater than the employee’s average two week pay over the period of January 1, 2020 through April 28, 2020.  SPSL pay may not exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate.  SPSL is in addition to any paid sick leave that is already available to employees, and employers may not require use of any other paid or unpaid leave, paid-time off, or vacation time before an employee uses SPSL, or in lieu of SPSL.

Employers must grant SPSL upon written (email or text message are acceptable) request from an employee.  Unlike other similar ordinances and laws, employers may require a doctor’s note or other documentation to support an employee’s SPSL request.
Reasons for SPSL:

  1. A public health official or healthcare provider requires or recommends the employee isolate or self-quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  2. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  3. The employee needs to care for a family member who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
  4. The employee takes time off work because the employee needs to provide care for a family member whose senior care provider or whose school or childcare provider ceases operations in response to a public health or other public official’s recommendation.

The ordinance will expire on December 31, 2020 unless extended further by the Board of Supervisors.

Useful Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes.  The CDC also provided a handy cleaning and disinfecting tool.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also released guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19.

We will continue to keep you updated.  If you have any questions, please reach out to compliance_services@thelarkincompany.com

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