The Board of Supervisors passed on Sep. 1 the “Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act of 2020,” which would require employers in the unincorporated County to implement specified social distancing, mitigations, and cleaning protocols and practices. The Act also requires those employers with 500 or more employees to provide additional paid sick leave for employees that can be used for COVID-19-related reasons.
The ordinance, brought to the Board at the request of First District Supervisor and Board Chairman Phil Serna, will go into effect on Oct. 1 and will be effect through Dec. 31, 2020.
“Large employers were exempt from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which required employers to provide additional sick leave to their employees, and it is important to ensure workers are afforded that sick leave to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Supervisor Serna. “The Sacramento County Worker Protection, Health and Safety Act of 2020 protects those workers whose employers are exempt.”
Employer safety protocols, according to the provisions of the ordinance, include:
- Maintenance and implementation of specified cleaning and disinfection protocols
- Establishment of a protocol to be implemented if a location is exposed to a person with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19
- Provisions of handwashing, sanitizing and disinfectant supplies
- Provision of face coverings and mandated wearing of face coverings, except to the extent employees can maintain the recommended physical distance from others or while using break times to eat or drink
- Notifying employees of the required protocols in writing
The supplemental paid sick leave section of the ordinance requires employers with 500 or more employees nationally to provide additional paid sick leave for employees that can be used for COVID-19-related reasons.
The ordinance allows full-time employees to be entitled to 80 hours of new paid sick leave, and part-time employees would receive sick leave hours based on their average hours worked over each two-week period during the last six months.
Employees may use this sick leave if:
- They are subject to quarantine or isolation under a federal, state or local order or are caring for a family member who is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19;
- They are advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
- They are over the age of 65 or are vulnerable due to a compromised immune system;
- Their office has temporarily ceased operations due to a public health order or other public health official’s recommendation;
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- The employee is caring for a minor child because the child’s school or daycare is closed.
Employers who already granted employees additional paid sick leave in response to COVID-19 would receive a credit for such hours against the total required under the ordinance.
The ordinance also states that within 15 days of a written notice from the County, the employer must cure any alleged violation of the ordinance that has been substantiated by the County.