Oakland, CA: Citywide Emergency Paid Sick Leave Adopted


All Employers with Oakland, CA Employees


April 1, 2020


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

Oakland joins Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco in enacting citywide emergency paid sick leave.  The Emergency Paid Sick Leave for Oakland Employees Ordinance went into effect immediately upon signing, and applies retroactively to workers providing services since February 3, 2020.

  1. Effective Date: April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020
  2. Eligibility:
    1. Covered Employees: All employees who have performed at least two hours of work in Oakland since February 3, 2020.
    2. Exemptions:
      1. Employers covered by the federal FFCRA may credit FFCRA time against Oakland emergency paid sick leave requirements;
      2. Healthcare providers or emergency responders who elect exemption;
  • Employers with their own leave policies allowing employees to accrue up to 160 hours of paid leave, if at least 80 hours of leave are immediately available for use by May 12, 2020;
      1. Employers who already provided covered employees at least 80 hours of additional paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons after February 3, 2020, in addition to what the employee is already entitled to receive;
      2. Employers of fewer than 15 employees between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020, unless the employer is an unregistered janitorial employer or franchisee of a network that employs over 500 employees in aggregate; and
      3. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement that specifically waives the provisions of the ordinance.
  1. Leave Amounts:
      1. Leave shall be provided per the below table:
Full-Time Employee (worked 40+ hours per week between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020) 80 hours of paid sick leave
Part-Time Employees Equal to the highest average number of hours worked in the City of Oakland over a 14-day period from February 3, 2020 to March 4, 2020

Employees hired after March 4, 2020 are still entitled to paid sick leave in these specified amounts.  Paid sick leave must be available immediately, regardless of length of employment.

      1. Rate of Pay: Sick leave must be paid at the employee’s normal hourly wages, not to exceed $511 per day or $5,110 in aggregate.  Compensation must be provided no later than 14 days after the sick leave is utilized.
  1. Usage:
      1. Purpose: Employees may use emergency paid sick leave for any of the same qualifying reasons permitted under the FFCRA. Additionally, employees may use emergency paid sick leave if unable to work or telework for any of the additional purposes:
        1. To care for a family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
        2. The employee is at least 65 years old, or has a qualifying condition that puts them at heightened risk of serious illness or death if exposed to COVID-19, as defined in the Ordinance.
      2. Increments: Employees may use leave incrementally.  Employers may not require employees to use leave in a smaller increment than one hour.
      3. Impact on Other Benefits: Employees may not be required to exhaust other leave benefits (e.g., company-provided sick leave, vacation) prior to use emergency paid sick leave.
  2. Payout of Non-Emergency Time: Accrued, unused non-emergency paid sick leave must be paid out to employees who are laid off on or after May 12, 2020. Additional emergency paid sick leave does not need to be paid out.
  3. Recordkeeping & Documentation:
    1. Medical Documentation: Employers may not require doctor’s notes or medical documentation for an employee to request use of paid sick leave. The only exception is when an employee must take leave because they have a different health condition that puts them at heightened risk for COVID-19; however, the employee is not obligated to disclose the specific health condition.
    2. Notice Requirements: Employers must provide a City of Oakland-prepared notice to all employees within three days of it being made available.

Action Items

  1. Review the text of the Ordinance here.
  2. Prepare for implementation of the new sick leave requirements, including having employee handbooks, policies, and payroll practices updated.
  3. Have managers trained on paid sick leave use requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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