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 requirements of the Order apply retroactively to January 1, 2021. The Order is currently set to terminate on its own on September 30, 2021, with minor exceptions for employees who take leave on or around the time of expiration.
Employers must provide Vaccine Leave upon oral or written request of an employee who have been employed with the employer for at least 60 days for the 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.
Vaccine Leave Entitlement:
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.
Rate of Pay:
Nonexempt employees entitled to the leave are to be compensated at the highest of the following rates:
- The normal rate of pay for the workweek in which the leave is taken;
- The city’s minimum wage; or
- 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.
Although the Order applies specifically to City of Los Angeles, employers everywhere should be aware of similar directives from their local city or county governments providing employees with vaccine-related leave rights.