Bill Would Require All California Employers To Offer Paid Sick Leave
A bill (AB 2716) introduced last week could make California the first state to mandate paid sick leave for all workers, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The bill, introduced by Assembly member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), would extend paid sick leave to any employee who works for seven or more days each year. Workers would accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and the time would carry over from year to year.
Medium and large employers could limit annual paid sick days to nine days, and small employers could cap annual sick leave at five days. Small employers would not be exempted from the law.
Employers that do not comply with the law would face fines of up to $250 per incident.
The bill is modeled after a San Francisco law that requires all city employers to offer paid sick leave. The law went into effect in February 2007.
Ma said that it would be difficult to pass the bill and for state regulators to enforce sanctions on some of the smaller employers.
The National Restaurant Association publicly opposes the concept of requiring paid sick leave and said it would force small businesses to lower wages.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has vetoed an expansion for an existing paid family leave law (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 2/27).