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).

Covered employers

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.
Continue Reading Oakland passes COVID-19 paid sick leave

On April 7, 2020, San Francisco, California and San Jose, California passed emergency ordinances to expand paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave benefits.  The ordinances cover gaps under federal law by expanding leave benefits under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), which is limited to employers with fewer than 500 employees, to employers with more than 500 employees.  Under the ordinances, employers must provide to each employee paid sick time to the extent that the employee is unable to work or telework because:

  1. The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation by federal, state, or local order due to COVID-19, or is caring for someone who is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19.
  2. The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 or is caring for someone who is so advised by a health care provider.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for a minor child because a school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19.


Continue Reading San Francisco and San Jose expand paid sick leave in response to COVID-19 outbreak