LA County Refuses To Pay Deputies Ordered To Quarantine After Work Exposure

Holly Matkin

Los Angeles County CEO Sachi Hamai said that the sheriff should have put the 200 deputies on paid administrative leave.

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles County leaders have refused to pay the 209 employees who were potentially exposed to coronavirus and sent home to self-quarantine in March.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he was on a conference call with county CEO Sachi Hamai and other county leaders on Wednesday when he learned that employees who were ordered to quarantine during the month of March will have to dip into their sick leave or vacation time in order to ensure they will receive a paycheck, KTTV reported.

Under new federal guidelines, employees who were ordered to self-isolate due to potential COVID-19 exposure qualify to receive 80 hours of sick leave for time spent in quarantine from April 1 and beyond.

But Los Angeles County leaders opted not to apply the paid sick leave benefits retroactively, forcing employees who were ordered into quarantine after suffering potential coronavirus exposure in March to pull from their sick or vacation benefits.

Otherwise, they just won’t get paid at all, Sheriff Villanueva told KTTV.

“Our public safety personnel, our first responders, the least of their worries should be that they’re not paid by their employer,” the sheriff said.

Approximately 50 deputies will be affected by the lack of retroactive sick leave, KTTV reported.

They are also ineligible to file for workmen’s compensation, Sheriff Villanueva said.

“Ninety percent of them won't be sick – they’re not gonna test positive – which means they’re on quarantine only,” he explained. “You can’t build a workman’s comp claim for not being sick. The quarantine issue is not there as part of workman’s comp.”

“Those who don’t have sick time or vacation time are just not going to be paid. It’s a big problem with me,” the sheriff told KTTV. “We have an obligation, we’re putting them in jeopardy by putting them into situations the average citizen is not going to do, and why on earth would we jeopardize their pay because of a quarantine issue.”

Sheriff Villanueva also expressed his frustration in a letter to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who is chair of the board, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The first responders from the Sheriff’s Department sacrifice their lives for the residents of Los Angeles County every day,” he wrote. “The least we can do is fully compensate these men and women for their daily sacrifices by covering their COVID-19-related absence from work.”

But Hamai blamed Sheriff Villanueva misfiling paperwork for the pay issue, and alleged that he was trying to cause problems by speaking to the media, KTTV reported.

“It’s unfortunate that the Sheriff continues to bring issues to the media with the sole purpose of picking a political fight,” Hamai lamented in a statement.

“The Sheriff is responsible for his own decisions if he ordered employees to be placed on home leave,” she declared. “As a department head, he should be well aware that employees he orders to stay at home should be placed on paid administrative leave.”

Hamai accused Sheriff Villanueva of providing reporters with “misleading information” instead of trying to handle his employees’ needs by working with the county’s human resources department.

Sheriff Villanueva said he is also concerned about how the county’s treatment of the quarantined deputies will affect the department’s recruiting efforts.

“This is going to impact recruiting,” he told KTTV. “People are not going to go out and volunteer when they know that when they walk into the job they’re not going to be paid. That’s a big problem.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors did not respond to KTTV’s request for comment.

Comments (28)
No. 1-13
JBoH
JBoH

California, huh? This is stunning...said no LEO in California ever. Mistreat the first responders, whoever they are...EMS, LEOs, Fire/Rescue and who will you call for help? Politicians? Good luck.

LynnSB
LynnSB

LA you people are pieces of shit they contracted this virus is doing their jobs it’s a federal law that you pay them they are sue the living shit out of you absolutely disgusting

RetiredCaLe
RetiredCaLe

Maybe they all need to file for Workers’ Compensation and see what the County thinks. Total bullshit again in Californica.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Los Angeles County leaders opted not to apply the paid sick leave benefits retroactively

That's ridiculous, if that is what they plan to do to anyone who tested positive, or tests as exposed (once those tests come around).

Anyway, here is the law, for anyone interested...

(b) Duration of Paid Sick Time.--
(1) In general.--An employee shall be entitled to paid sick
time for an amount of hours determined under paragraph (2).
(2) Amount of hours.--The amount of hours of paid sick time
to which an employee is entitled shall be as follows:
(A) For full-time employees, 80 hours.
(B) For part-time employees, a number of hours equal
to the number of hours that such employee works, on
average, over a 2-week period.
(3) Carryover.--Paid sick time under this section shall not carry over from 1 year to the next.

This Act, and the requirements under this Act, shall take effect not
later than 15 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 5109.

This Act, and the requirements under this Act, shall expire on December 31, 2020.

[Became law on 3/18/2020].

Flyingwet
Flyingwet

The flow of tax money/revenue, that filters down to law enforcement agencies has not stopped because of the virus. The right thing to do is....Pay the officers while they are quarantined. Just do whats right. Don't abondon them because of a technicality.

HFD120
HFD120

Sounds like a "pissing contest" between the Sheriff and the politicians. "Paid administrative leave" the deputies would have been paid. So, because politicians being politicians, they would rather screw the employees just to punish the Sheriff. (His clerical staff most assuredly drew up the paperwork). Extraordinary times and pettiness does not have a place in dealing with first responders.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

a lot of people NOT getting paid right now! and all you copsuckers can do is cry that a few over paid cops will be missing a few dollars on there next check!

Racechaser6
Racechaser6

But they will still pay illegals.

BlueProtects
BlueProtects

That is Adam Schiff's territory what else would you expect. He's to busy with his cronies trying to put together another impeachment attempt.

DarrellB
DarrellB

This is why you don't live or work in Commifornia!!!

bryantrent
bryantrent

Crazy

Szrudy3
Szrudy3

I think all of the city and county elected official should not be paid and their salaries go to the people that are doing all the work Talk about elitest

ShadowGryphon
ShadowGryphon

Stop hanging LEO's out to dry to fucking idiots!


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