Analysis: 44% of California Workers Lack Access to Paid Sick Leave
More than 40% of California's workers do not have access to paid sick leave, according to a recent analysis by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the Washington Post's "GovBeat" reports (Chokshi, "GovBeat," Washington Post, 8/26).
California has considered legislation requiring employers to provide paid sick leave three times. The most recent bill (AB 1522), by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), calls for employers to pay for a minimum of three sick days per year for employees who work 30 or more days in a calendar year. It is currently being considered in the Senate (California Healthline, 8/21).
Details of Analysis
For the analysis, researchers examined data from the 2010-2012 National Health Interview Survey on access to paid sick leave in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions of the U.S.
Researchers used the 2012 American Community Survey to estimate access to paid sick days in California ("GovBeat," Washington Post, 8/26).
Overall, the analysis found that 44% of workers in California did not receive any paid sick leave (IWPR release, 8/26).
It also found that access varied widely by type of occupation. For example, 86% of workers in computer and mathematical professions had access to paid sick leave, compared with 12% of farmers, fishers and forestry workers.
In addition, the report found:
- 64% of black, non-Hispanic workers had access to paid sick leave;
- 64% of white, non-Hispanic workers had access;
- 63% of Asian, non-Hispanic workers had access;
- 54% of other, non-Hispanic workers had access; and
- 43% of Hispanic workers had access.
Further, 58% of women had paid sick days, compared with 54% of men ("GovBeat," Washington Post, 8/26).
IWPR Study Director Jeff Hayes said, "These data indicate that California's workers who are least able to lose pay when they are sick are also the least likely to have employer-provided paid sick days" (IWPR release, 8/26).
The four California counties with the best access to paid sick leave were:
- Santa Clara, with 64% of residents having access to paid sick leave;
- Marin, with 63% having access;
- Contra Costa, with 63% having access; and
- Alameda, with 63% having access ("GovBeat," Washington Post, 8/26).