West Hollywood, California has enacted an ordinance that requires employers to provide paid and unpaid leave benefits. Leave benefits become effective on January 1, 2022 for “hotel workers.” The effective date for all other employers is July 1, 2022.
“Employee” means any person who in a particular week performs at least two hours of work within the geographic boundaries of the city for an employer; and qualifies as an employee entitled to payment of a minimum wage from any employer under the California Labor Code and wage orders published by the California Industrial Welfare Commission.
“Employer” means any person, including a corporate officer or executive, association, organization, partnership, business trust, and limited liability company or corporation, who directly or indirectly, or through an agent or any other person, including through the services of a temporary service or staffing agency or similar entity, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours or working conditions of any Employee.
“Full-time employee” means someone who works at least forty 40 hours a week or in accordance with the employer’s policies, if more generous.
“Part-time employee” means someone who works less than forty (40) hours per week or in accordance with the Employer’s policies, if more generous.
“Hotel employer” means any person who owns, controls, or operates a hotel in the city, and includes any person or contractor who, in a managerial, supervisory, or confidential capacity, employs hotel workers to provide services at a Hotel in conjunction with the Hotel’s purpose.
“Hotel worker” means any individual whose primary place of employment is at one or more hotels and who is employed directly by the hotel employer, or by a person who has contracted with the hotel employer to provide services at the hotel.
The ordinance requires that employers provide at least 96 compensated hours of time off per year for sick leave, vacation, or personal necessity to full-time employees. Full-time employees are entitled to accrue at least 96/52 (1.846) hours of compensated time off each week of employment. Compensated time off doesn’t accrue for work in excess of 40 hours a week. Full-time employees who work less than 40 hours a week will receive the compensated time off in proportional increments.
Part-time employees are entitled to accrue compensated time off in increments proportional to that accrued by someone who works 40 hours a week. For example, a part-time employee who works 30 hours per week would be entitled to 72 hours of compensated time off per year, accruing at 72/52 (1.385) hours per week of employment.
Highlights of Paid Leave:
- Employees must be eligible to use accrued paid compensated time off after the first six months of employment or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner.
- Employers may not unreasonably deny an employee’s request to use the accrued compensated time off.
- Unused accrued compensated time off must carry over until the time off reaches a maximum of 192 hours unless the employer’s established policy is more generous.
- After an employee reaches the maximum accrued compensated time off (192 hours), an employer must provide a cash payment once every 30 days for accrued compensated time off over the maximum. An employer may provide an employee with the option of cashing out any portion of, or all of, the employee’s accrued compensated time off under the maximum, but, in no event, is the employer allowed to require an employee to cash out any accrued compensated time off.
- Compensated time off cashed out will be paid to the employee at the wage rate that the employee is earning at the time of cash out.
- An employer may not implement any employment policy to count accrued compensated time off taken as an absence that may result in discipline, discharge, suspension, or any other adverse action.
In addition to the paid leave, employers must permit full-time employees to take at least 80 additional hours per year of uncompensated time off to be used for sick leave for the illness of the employee or a member of their immediate family where the employee has exhausted their compensated time off for that year. Full-time employees who work less than 40 hours a week will receive the uncompensated time off in proportional increments.
A full-time employee is entitled to accrue 80/52 (1.538) hours of uncompensated time off each week employed. Uncompensated time off doesn’t accrue for work in excess of 40 hours a week. Full-time employees who work less than 40 hours a week will receive the uncompensated time off in proportional increments.
Part-time employees will accrue uncompensated time off in increments proportional to that accrued by someone who works 40 hours a week.
Highlights of Unpaid Leave:
- Employees must be eligible to use accrued uncompensated time off after the first six months of employment or consistent with company policies, whichever is sooner.
- Employers may not unreasonably deny an employee’s request to use the accrued uncompensated time off.
- Unused accrued uncompensated time off will carry over until the time off reaches a maximum of 80 hours, unless the employer’s established policy is more generous.
- Employers may not implement any employment policy to count uncompensated time off taken under this section as an absence that may result in discipline, discharge, suspension, or any other adverse action.
Employers with employees who work in West Hollywood should ensure compliance with the leave requirements by the applicable deadline. Employers must also post in the workplace a bulletin to be published by the city informing employees of the current minimum wage rate and of their rights under the ordinance. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.