Assembly Committee Advances Bill Mandating Paid Sick Leave
Details of AB 1522
The Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment voted 5-1 to approve the bill, which was introduced by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego).
The legislation includes provisions that would:
- Allow sick days to be used to care for an ill relative or to take leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault;
- Exempt employees covered by collective bargaining; and
- Allow unused sick leave to be carried over into the next year.
Under the bill, employers would be exempt from paying for accumulated sick leave when an employee leaves an organization.
The bill now heads to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
A coalition of business groups that opposes the measure said the bill could increase costs for employers. The group noted, "While many employers voluntarily offer sick leave for full-time employees, expanding this to be a mandate ... will create a huge burden."
In addition, Eric Lund -- general manager of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce -- said the bill could:
- End the practice of paid time off; and
- Affect salaried workers who are not paid by the hour.
Business groups have suggested several alternatives to the measure, such as:
- Amending overtime laws to give businesses and employees added flexibility, instead of paid sick leave; and
- Offering tax credits to small businesses that offer paid sick leave (Gardner, U-T San Diego, 3/19).