West Hollywood Ordinance Significantly Expands Guaranteed Leave

Written by Gary McLaughlin

As of July 1, 2022, West Hollywood employers are subject to a new ordinance that establishes significant changes to citywide guaranteed leave provisions.

The new ordinance provides West Hollywood employees with up to 96 hours of compensated time off (CTO) per year (for vacation, sick leave, or “personnel necessity” time), and also up to 80 hours of uncompensated time off per year for sick leave. A “West Hollywood employee” is defined as any person who performs at least two hours of work per week within the city of West Hollywood.

Employers have the flexibility to decide whether the CTO is front-loaded or whether the hours are accrued each pay period. If the employer elects to provide the CTO on an accrual basis, a full-time employee (defined as someone who works at least forty hours a week, or in accordance with the employer’s policies), must accrue at least 96 hours of compensated time off in each calendar year in which they are employed by the West Hollywood employer, in weekly increments. A part-time employee (defined as someone who works less than forty hours a week, or in accordance with the employer’s policies) accrues compensated time off in increments proportional to that accrued by someone who works forty hours a week.

The ordinance outlines general rules related to the compensated time off. Employees are eligible to use their accrued CTO after six months of employment, or consistent with the company policy, whichever is sooner; a request to use accrued CTO may not be unreasonably denied by an employer; and an employer can choose to cap unused accrued CTO at 192 hours.

West Hollywood employers must also allow full-time employees to take at least 80 additional hours of uncompensated time off per year sick leave for the employee or to care for an immediate family member, where the employee has exhausted his or her compensated time off for that year. The uncompensated time off also accrues in weekly increments, and the same general rules as above regarding use of leave apply.  Employers may cap unused accrued time at 80 years per year.

Employers who demonstrate that compliance with the leave provisions of the ordinance would cause hardship may apply for a one-year one-time waiver.

A summary of the ordinance, including an FAQ section and waiver application, can be found on the City of West Hollywood’s website.

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