Several Cities Join California in Ending Local COVID-19 State of Emergency

On Tuesday, February 28, California will end its COVID-19 declaration of emergency, and the federal government anticipates terminating the national emergency on May 11, 2023. In addition, several localities have indicated that they, in alignment with the state and federal governments, intend to end their local COVID-19 state of emergencies — which also would bring an end to their COVID-19 local supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) ordinances.

The state’s supplemental paid sick leave ended on December 31, 2022, but a few lingering localities still had local COVID-19 SPSL ordinances: Los Angeles city, Los Angeles County, Long Beach and Oakland. Thus far, only Oakland has renewed its declaration of a local emergency for COVID-19.

Here is a status on these localities:

  • Los Angeles city: The state of emergency ended on February 1, 2023, which brought an end to the local COVID-19 SPSL on February 15, 2023.
  • Los Angeles County: The Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to end the local state of emergency on February 28, 2022. Supervisor Janice Hahn made a motion to recommend terminating the local emergency effective March 31, 2023. The SPSL will end two calendar weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency — meaning if the Board of Supervisors votes to end the local emergency on March 31, 2023, the supplemental leave would end on April 14, 2023. The Los Angeles County Employee Paid Leave for Expanded Vaccine Access also would end two weeks after the expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency, whenever that may be.
  • Long Beach: City Council ended the local state of emergency and terminated the COVID-19 SPSL effective February 21, 2023.
  • Oakland: City Council renewed the local COVID-19 state of emergency on February 21, 2023, meaning the Oakland SPSL remains in effect through the duration of this state of emergency.
  • San Francisco: Although San Francisco hasn’t had a COVID-19-specific SPSL ordinance for quite some time, it did enact a Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO) in October 2022 that would apply to public health emergencies like COVID-19. However, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced that the city’s COVID-19 public health emergency declaration and health orders will end on February 28, 2023, at which time, COVID-19 will no longer be a local or statewide health emergency that could trigger the PHELO. Employers should keep in mind, however, that the COVID-Related Employment Protections Ordinance that prohibits employment discrimination based on COVID-19 status remains in effect until March 6, 2023.

Employers should continue to comply with local ordinances until their expiration date. Stay tuned to HRWatchdog for more updates!

Sarah Woolston, Employment Law Counsel/Subject Matter Expert

CalChamber members can read more about other local ordinances on HRCalifornia. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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