Benefit News

San Francisco COVID-19 Related Ordinance Updates

April 20, 2020

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Takes Effect

Businesses with more than 500 employees worldwide must now provide up to 80 hours of paid Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) to each employee who performs work in San Francisco (regardless of how long employed) for use when he or she is unable work or telework due to specific COVID-19 related reasons specified in the PHEL. The leave became effective on Friday, April 17, 2020, and remains in effect as long as the local emergency is in effect.

The PHEL is in addition to any leave the employee may be entitled to under the City’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. However, employers that already provide additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 outbreak are permitted to offset that leave from the PHEL requirement.

Covered employers are also required to provide the official PHEL Poster in a manner calculated to reach all employees. This could mean posting at a job site, sending electronically, and/or posting to a web-based or app-based platform.

Additional information regarding the PHEL, including how to obtain a download of the PHEL Poster, is available through the City’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Guidance and Resources webpage at

San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance

2019 Annual Reporting Filing Cancelled

The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) recently announed that the City is cancelling its 2019 annual reporting requirement for employers subject to San Francisco’s Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) and those covered by San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance. Originally due April 30, 2020, the 2019 Employer Annual Reporting Form, which would have substantiated compliance for the 2019 calendar year, will not need to be filed this year.

1st Quarter 2020 HCSO Contributions Still Due April 30th

The HCSO and San Francisco’s other Labor Laws remain in full effect. This means that employers covered under the HCSO must continue to make health care expenditures on behalf of their covered employees. The deadline for making first quarter 2020 contributions to the City Option remains April 30, 2020.

Visit for further information regarding the HCSO, as well as links to other City ordinances accessible through this site, including information regarding the Fair Chance Ordinance.

Where To Get More Information

For information regarding coronavirus resources available to San Francisco businesses and employees, please visit the COVID-19 homepage at

For additional information, please contact your Burnham Benefits Consultant or Burnham Benefits at 949-833-2983 or

Burnham Benefits does not engage in the practice of law and this publication should not be construed as the providing of legal advice or a legal opinion of any kind. The consulting advice we provide is intended solely to assist in assessing its compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other applicable federal and state law requirements, and is based on Burnham Benefit’s interpretation of federal guidance in effect as of the date of this publication. To the best of our knowledge, the information provided herein, and assumptions relied on, are reasonable and accurate as of the date of this publication. Furthermore, to ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any tax advice contained in this publication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of (i) avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.

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