Santa Monica Paid Sick Leave

Tyreen Torner has again updated this Chart Summarizing CA State and Local Paid Sick Leave Rules. It summarizes the Paid Sick Leave laws for California, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Emeryville.

Regular readers of this blog may be asking: “Wait. Didn’t she just do an update in June?” Yes, she did! But there have been changes since then in the rules for Santa Monica, San Francisco, and pesky little Emeryville. Keeping this chart current requires constant vigilance, but Tyreen is up to the task.

Tyreen Torner has again updated this Chart Summarizing CA State and Local Paid Sick Leave Rules. It summarizes the Paid Sick Leave laws for California, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Emeryville.

Man lying with a broken leg in a cast on a sofaAre you curious about how the accrual cap rules in Oakland (where the Golden State Warriors are today celebrating their third NBA title in four years) compare to the accrual cap rules in Los Angeles (where the Lakers weren’t even the champions of LA)? Just look it up. It’s all there. Right at your fingertips. Thank you Tyreen!

Tyreen Torner has just updated this CA State & Local PSL Chart. It summarizes the Paid Sick Leave laws for California and the eight cities that have their own rules (LA, SF, San Diego, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Emeryville).

Have you ever wondered how the accrual cap rules in Santa Monica compare to the accrual cap rules in San Diego? Of course you have! Don’t be embarrassed. Are you curious about how the definition of sibling in San Francisco compares to the definition of sibling in San Diego? Just look it up. It’s all right there at your fingertips. All thanks to Tyreen!

It’s been barely two months since Tyreen Torner compiled a chart summarizing the paid sick leave laws of California and six cities (San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Monica). Well, she has now updated the chart, which you can download here: CA State and City Paid Sick Leave Laws. Is Tyreen’s work done? Hardly! Berkeley has enacted its own paid sick leave laws that take effect in 2017. Other cities will also be jumping on the bandwagon and it will be time for another update. Sorry Tyreen!

Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo

Trying to keep track of all of California’s paid sick leave requirements is a daunting task. The state has its own rules and then so do seven municipalities, with Los Angeles joining the list July 1, 2016. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a single chart that contained all the requirements? Well now, thanks to Tyreen Torner, there is. Click on the link to download a PDF of the California Paid Sick Leave Rules Chart.

Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo

Are you curious about how the accrual cap rules in Oakland compare to the accrual cap rules in Santa Monica? Of course you are! Don’t be afraid to admit it. Are you wondering how the definition of sibling in San Francisco compares to the definition of sibling in San Diego? Just look it up. It’s all there. Right at your fingertips. Thank you Tyreen!

As I have mentioned before, every California employer, large or small, needs three things: (1) an Employee Handbook that addresses California specific issues; (2) a comprehensive Confidentiality Agreement to protect the company’s proprietary information to the greatest extent possible; and (3) an Arbitration Agreement.

From time to time, I run across employers who never want to finish their handbook.  Instead it is in a constant state of revision and refinement.  This can be problematic.  It is not necessary to rush to update a handbook or agreement every time some new law is announced.  I generally recommend thoughtful updates of all three documents, on a regular, periodic basis (at least once a year, maybe twice).  It is important that these documents are drafted and reviewed as a set, otherwise they could unintentionally contradict each other.

Another objection I often hear is “why should we bother updating the handbook – no one reads it anyway.”  My answer is what matters is that employees acknowledge the handbook, so you can use it as a basis for discipline, and as a defense to litigation.  With so many plaintiffs’ counsel requesting personnel files to evaluate possible claims, the absence of policies is never helpful.

Believe it or not, we are already approaching the half-way mark for 2016, so June 1st or July 1st is a good time for an update.  The following are a few key items to consider:

First, there is an important new federal law involving confidentiality agreements.  As my partner, James Singer, explained in this helpful Alert, in order to get protections of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, your employee handbook and/or confidentiality agreement should be updated to include certain language providing immunity for whistleblowers.  Failing to add this language can preclude a new avenue of recovery under the DTSA, so it certainly makes sense to include it.

Second, as my partner Jeff Polsky explained, some updates to your harassment policy may be required to comply with California’s new regulations.

Third, check your local ordinances, keeping in mind that the LA Hotel Ordinance goes into effect for additional properties on July 1st (and requires some time off policy updates in addition to wage increases), that Santa Monica’s minimum wage ordinance has updated paid sick leave requirements, and that Los Angeles employers may have new requirements for paid sick leave if a proposal recently approved by the City Council is adopted.

If you don’t want to update all of your policies mid-year, another option is a mid-year notice to employees, and then a full scale revision at year-end including all of the updates.  Either way, mid-year is a good time for a policy tune-up.

Copyright: Krisdog / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: Krisdog / 123RF Stock Photo

When the Santa Monica City Council passed a minimum wage ordinance slated to go into effect on July 1, 2016, it also appointed a working group to review and recommend changes to the law. Those changes were approved by the council last night and help clarify the existing draft of the ordinance. The amended law will go to the City Council for a second reading on May 10th and will be effective 30 days later.

imagesHighlights of the ordinance include:

  • Minimum wage of $12.00 per hour effective July 1, 2017 for all Santa Monica employees, increasing to $13.25 on July 1, 2018, $14.25 on July 1, 2019 and $15.00 on July 1, 2020.
  • Phased approach to sick leave providing one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours through 2017 and 72 hours commencing January 1, 2018 for businesses with more than 25 employees. Smaller businesses need only provide 32 hours of paid sick leave through 2017 and 40 hours of paid sick leave commencing January 1, 2018.
  • Explicitly permits front-loading of paid sick leave which the initial draft of the ordinance failed to do.
  • Removes the requirement for employees to provide reasonable notice of the desire to take paid sick leave.
  • Removes the definition and regulation of “surcharges” while clarifying and expanding what constitutes a “service charge” that must be paid to employees.
  • Changes the hotel worker minimum wage to reflect the Los Angeles City Ordinance rate effective July 1, 2017. Notably, the Santa Monica hotel worker minimum wage applies to all hotel workers, regardless of the size of the hotel, unlike the LA ordinance which only applies to workers in hotels with 150 or more rooms. It also leaves unclear whether the paid sick leave provisions of the Santa Monica ordinance or the more expansive PTO provisions of the LA ordinance will apply.

In adopting this minimum wage ordinance, Santa Monica joins a growing list of cities in California to enact their own paid sick and minimum wage provisions.