LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to explore options on providing supplemental paid sick leave for monkeypox and COVID-19.
“While I’m glad to see that our COVID-19 cases continue to gradually decline and that new monkeypox infections decrease each day as well, there are still thousands of residents testing positive for COVID-19 each day. And we remain one of the counties with the highest incidents of monkeypox. Lengthy isolation periods can cause severe disruption, especially for our essential workers who cannot afford to take leave for lengthy illnesses. Our essential workers have put their lives and livelihoods on the line for over two years, and we must continue to have their backs,” said Supervisor Solis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people with monkeypox remain isolated for the duration of the illness, which typically lasts two to four weeks. The CDC further recommends people with COVID-19 isolate for five to ten days depending on symptoms.
“While monkeypox is not generally fatal, it can cause extended illness leading to long absences from work. We want to find ways to extend supplemental paid leave to County workers who contract Monkeypox so that a serious illness doesn’t also become a devastating financial calamity,” said Supervisor Kuehl.
The California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 152 (AB 152), which would extend California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave through the end of 2022 while providing relief to small businesses that are incurring the costs of such leave. AB 152 is currently awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature, and with this motion, the Board of Supervisors respectfully requests that he sign the bill.
However, there is no accompanying legislation at the state level to provide leave for monkeypox infection. With this motion, County Counsel would examine options to provide supplemental paid sick leave for workers with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox infection, including cost considerations.
Read today’s full motion here.