California Lawmakers Sign Off on Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
On Wednesday, the California Assembly passed a bill that would require paid sick leave for all workers, poising California to be the first state to adopt such a requirement, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The bill (AB 2716) by Assembly member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) would permit employees to use paid sick leave for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from sexual assault or domestic abuse.
Businesses of 10 or more employees would be required to provide up to nine days of sick leave annually, and smaller businesses would provide up to five days, under the measure. Workers would earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and the benefit would begin after 90 days of employment.
The Assembly passed the bill 43-25, with no Republicans voting in favor of it. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Ma said when employees offer paid sick days, employee morale improves, turnover decreases and health care costs decrease.
The California Labor Federation and California Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now sponsored the bill.
In a letter of opposition, the California Chamber of Commerce stated that many employers already offer paid sick leave and that making paid sick leave mandatory could hurt businesses.
Assembly member Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) said the bill targets small businesses that are the "backbone of the economy."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not taken a position on the bill (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 5/29).