Los Angeles Mandates Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave
New Minimum Wage Ordinances in the City of Los Angeles have increased the minimum wage for employees who work for an employer within the City limits for a minimum of two hours during any particular week. The new ordinances also require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave.
Under the new ordinances, which first went into effect on July 1, 2016, the minimum wage rate will continue to rise over the next five years until reaching $15/hour for all employees working in the City of Los Angeles by the year 2021. The applicable minimum wage rates and annual increases depend on the number of people employed by a particular employer as detailed in the following Minimum Wage Chart:
|Increase Date||Employers with 25 or fewer Employees||Employers with 26 or more Employees|
Paid Sick Leave
In addition to the minimum wage increase, under the new ordinances, employees who work in the City of Los Angeles for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year, will now be entitled to 48 hours of paid sick each year based on the following guidelines:
- Employees will be entitled to take up to 48 hours of sick leave in each year of employment, calendar year, or 12-month period.
- Employers must provide sick leave either: 1) by providing the entire 48 hours to an employee at the beginning of each year of employment, calendar year, or 12-month period; or 2) by providing the employee one hour of sick leave per every 30 hours worked.
- Paid sick leave shall accrue on the first day of employment or July 1, 2016, whichever is later.
- An employee may use paid sick leave beginning on the 90th day of employment or July 1, 2016, whichever is later.
- Accrued unused paid sick leave shall carry over to the following year of employment and may be capped at 72 hours. An employer may set a higher cap or no cap at all.
- If an employer has a paid leave or paid time off policy or provides payment for compensated time off, that is equal to or no less than 48 hours, no additional time is required.
- An employer shall provide paid sick leave upon the oral or written request of an employee for themselves, a family member or for any individual related by affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. An employee may also be required to provide reasonable documentation of an absence from work for which paid sick leave is or will be used.
- An employer is not required to provide compensation to an employee for accrued or unused sick days upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.
- If an employee separates from an employer and is rehired by the employer within one year from the date of separation, previously accrued and unused paid sick time shall be reinstated.
Under the new minimum wage ordinances, employers are required to do the following:
- Pay hourly minimum wage for hours worked by employees within the City of Los Angeles.
- Post the Office of Wage Standards Wage Notices in a conspicuous place at any workplaces or job sites in multiple languages, including any language spoken by at least five percent (5%) of the employees at the workplace or job site.
- Keep payroll records for a period of four (4) years.
- Provide employees with the employer’s name, address, and telephone number in writing at the time of hire.
- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee exercising rights under the Minimum Wage and Wage Enforcement Division Ordinances.
Employees who are denied the required minimum wage increases or paid sick leave are entitled to the following, among other, remedies:
- Payment of wages unlawfully withheld;
- Payment of Sick Time Benefits unlawfully withheld; and/or
- An additional penalty of up to $120 to the Employee and up to $50 to the City for each day that either violation occurred or continued.
- In cases of retaliation, the employee may be entitled to reinstatement, as well as triple the wages, sick time and penalties owed.
- An employee may also file a lawsuit in civil court.
Additionally, employers who violate the provisions of these Minimum Wage Ordinances may be subject to administrative fines for each and every day that a violation occurs.