On May 12, 2020, Oakland passed an emergency ordinance joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose in requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons. Codified as Code of Ordinances Chapter 5.94 and known as the “Protecting Workers and Communities During a Pandemic – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance” (Emergency Paid Sick Leave), Oakland’s new paid sick leave requirements aim to fill the gaps in the coverage provided by the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).
Unlike the FFCRA, which only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, Oakland’s new paid sick leave requirements apply to all private employers, regardless of the number of employees, but subject to the exemptions noted below. Covered employers must pay the Emergency Paid Sick Leave payment by no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the employee takes Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and no more than 14 days after the employee takes Emergency Paid Sick Leave.
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