Mandatory Vaccinations

Yesterday, August 10, 2021, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a Press Release announcing that Los Angeles County will align with the California Department of Public Health’s Order, effective August 5, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all healthcare workers by September 30th, with very narrow exceptions. See our recent post for further information.

However, the County Order will also include three additional groups of healthcare workers:

  1. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics,
  2. Home healthcare workers, and
  3. Dental practice employees.

The County is expected to release additional guidance regarding an effective education and implementation strategy in the coming weeks.

The City of Los Angeles is likely to follow suit. We will continue to provide additional updates as more information is released.

COVID-19 Vaccine Leave

Los Angeles County

On May 18, 2021, LA County passed an Ordinance requiring all private employers in the County to provide paid leave for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This Ordinance applies retroactively to January 1, 2021 and expires on August 31, 2021.

The Employee Paid Leave for Expanded COVID-19 Vaccine Access Ordinance (“COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Leave”) requires:

  • Any Full-Time Employee to be provided with four hours of additional paid leave per injection to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Any Part-Time Employee to be provided with additional paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the following rate: the prorated amount of four hours per injection based on their normally scheduled work hours over the two-week period preceding the injection.
  • Where an employer is subject to California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law (i.e., employers with more than 25 employees), the employee must first exhaust the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave before being entitled to the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Leave.
  • All Employees who receive COVID-19 Vaccine Paid Leave to be compensated at their normal rate of pay, calculated based on an Employee’s highest average two-week pay over the period of January 1, 2021 through the effective date (May 18, 2021).

What Employers Need to Know:

  • An Employer may ask an Employee to provide written verification of receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive COVID-19 Vaccine Leave.
  • Every Employer must post in a conspicuous place where Employees work the Workplace Posting prepared by the DCBA informing Employees of the COVID-19 Vaccine Leave Ordinance and of their rights.
  • Employers must keep related records, specifically, payroll records evidencing the COVID-19 Vaccine Leave pay provided, for four years.

City of Los Angeles

On June 24, 2021, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an Order mandating COVID-19 Vaccine Leave (“Vaccine Leave”) for employees who work in the City of Los Angeles. The Order will apply retroactively to January 1, 2021 and will expire on September 30, 2021, with limited exceptions for employees who take leave on or around the time of expiration.

Employers must provide Vaccine Leave upon the oral or written request of an employee who has been employed with the employer for at least 60 days for any time spent by the employee: (1) traveling to and from an appointment for vaccine, (2) receiving the injection, and (3) recovering from vaccination-related side effects that prevents the employee from being able to work or telework.

Employers with 25 or fewer employees must provide leave as follows:

  • Full-Time employees are entitled to up to four hours of leave to obtain each vaccine injection, and up to eight hours to recover from any vaccination-related side effects.
  • Part-Time employees are entitled to the prorated amount of four hours per injection based on the average number of hours worked the 60 days preceding the injection, and up to the prorated amount of the right hours to recover from any vaccination-related side effects.

Employers with more than 25 employees must provide the same leave described above, provided however, that the employee has already exhausted all available leave under other sick leave allotments such as city or state mandated COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave.

Nonexempt employees entitled to the leave are to be compensated at the highest of the following rates:

  1. The normal rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave is taken;
  2. The city’s minimum wage; or
  3. The average hourly pay for the preceding 60 days, not including overtime.

Exempt employees are to be compensated for the leave in the same manner as the employer calculates other forms of paid leave.

Leave required by the Order is not to exceed $511 per day (or $255.50 per each 4 hours) or $1,022 in aggregate.

We will continue to keep you informed of any further updates on this matter.

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