By Kate Kriner, PHRca

There is yet another leave in effect for employees working in San Francisco. Passed by voters in June as Proposition G, the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance, or “PHELO,” becomes effective on October 1, 2022.

There is some good news… This leave applies only to large employers, those with 100 or more employees worldwide, and then only applies specifically to those employees performing work in the city of San Francisco.

If you are familiar with the COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) requirements, you will find many similarities here. PHELO paid leave is available when an employee is unable to work or telework due to quarantine or isolation by a health care provider; when they are experiencing symptoms of, and seeking, or have received, a diagnosis of a disease that is considered a Public Health Emergency as designated by the city or state health officer. This will apply currently to COVID-19 and leaves a wide-open door for future pandemics.  

More good news is the Ordinance has offset provisions.  The current CA COVID-19 SPSL can be counted as leave provided under Proposition G. As SPSL will likely be extended (AB 152, only needing the Governor’s signature to become law, will push the date of that leave to December 31, 2022), it can offset the leave required under PHELO.  

Of significant note is this leave may also be used during Air Quality Emergencies, specifically when “Spare the Air” alerts have been issued, the employee works primarily outdoors, and is a member of a “Vulnerable Population.” The definitions and other details of this leave can be found here in the legislative text: http://files.amlegal.com/pdffiles/sanfran/2022-06-07-PropG.pdf

If this leave applies to your employees, there is a posting requirement.  The link is here: OLSE Prop G notice. We were hoping for more details from the enforcement agency, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE), before we alerted you about this new law, but as of today this is what we know.

Rest assured, if this new leave begins in the City by the Bay, it will be entering the full Golden State basket of leaves in the future.