los angeles sick leave law

Since 2015, California has mandated that employers grant their employees paid sick leave. 

In addition, Los Angeles has its own sick leave ordinance that provides employees with extra paid sick leave.  

If you or a loved one is an employee in Los Angeles, you are entitled to take sick leave in many situations. Read on to learn more about your rights to paid sick leave in Los Angeles.

You will also learn about your remedies if your employer has denied your request to take paid sick leave. 

Los Angeles’s Paid Sick Leave Law

The Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance (LAMWO) states that employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Los Angeles employers can provide their employees with sick leave using either of two methods. 

In the first method, the employer gives each employee 48 hours of paid leave up front at the beginning of every year. The term “year” can represent any 12-month period, not just the calendar year. 

For the second method, the employer allows each employee to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Employees start accruing sick leave on the day they begin employment. 

Common Questions About Los Angeles Sick Leave Laws

Employees often have questions about Los Angeles’s paid sick leave law. Here are some of the most common questions. 

1. Who is Eligible to Receive Paid Sick Leave in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles sick leave is available to all full-time, part-time, and temporary workers working in the city, provided they meet four requirements. Specifically, the employee must work:

  • Within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles;
  • For 30 days or more of each year;
  • At least two hours a week; and
  • For the same employer. 

The LAMWO allows employers to cap the maximum amount of accrued sick leave at 72 hours. However, the employer can also set a higher cap or no cap whatsoever. 

Finally, the LAMWO does not apply to businesses that employ fewer than 26 employees. 

2. How Can I Use My Los Angeles Sick Leave?

To access their paid sick leave, the employee need only give an oral or written request to their employer requesting the time off. 

Moreover, the employee can use Los Angeles’s paid sick leave law not only for themselves, but also to care for any family member or individual whose “close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” 

Keep in mind however, that your employer can ask you to provide reasonable documentation whenever you ask for sick leave. 

3. What If My Employer Refuses My Request for Sick Leave?

If you think your employer is violating your right to paid sick leave in Los Angeles, you have two options. 

First, you can complete and submit a complaint form to the Office of Wage Standards. Second, you can file a civil lawsuit against your employer pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code § 188.07(B)

On a side note, remember that Los Angeles Municipal Code § 188.03A requires every Los Angeles employer to post the requirements of the city’s Minimum Wage Ordinance in a conspicuous place. 

Contact Our California Employment Attorneys

When an employer fails to grant paid sick leave to a group of employees, the employee can initiate a lawsuit against the employer. If a group of employees has been denied paid sick leave, they can defend their collective rights to paid sick leave in Los Angeles with a class-action lawsuit

Both individual and class-action lawsuits force employers to give their employees the rights granted by Los Angeles’s paid sick leave law.

An employment lawsuit also reimburses the injured employees for the Los Angeles sick leave that their employer denied them.

If you are a current employee in Los Angeles and you think your employer has violated Los Angeles’s sick leave law, you need to contact a dedicated California employment law firm. 

Here at the Workplace Rights Law Group, we prioritize quality over quantity.  Instead of taking any case that comes our way, we hand-pick our cases. This allows us to deliver outstanding service to our clients and help them get the best results possible in court.  

On top of that, we have over 75 years of experience in employment law and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.


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