FAMILY LEAVE: Bill Would Allow Employees to Use Sick Days to Care for Family
The Assembly yesterday approved a bill that would allow employees to use paid sick days to care for ill family members. Federal and state law currently allows employees in firms of larger than 50 people to take unpaid leave to care for family members with a serious medical condition. But AB 109, by Assemblyman Wally Knox (D-Beverly Hills), which passed 47-25, would "apply to all employers regardless of size" (Sacramento Bee/Capitol Alert, 5/18). Knox said, "What do you do when a child says, 'Mom or Dad, I'm sick?' The answer is obvious: you stay home. This bill would extend that as a right to employees." The bill would also prohibit employers from firing workers who elect to use the benefit, and allow employees to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner or sue for a day's pay if they are denied leave or punished for taking the time off. Some opponents said the measure is too sweeping a restriction on businesses. "It's a mandate for a noble purpose, but I don't think we should require it as a state," said Assemblyman Bill Campbell (R-Orange). Assemblyman Mike Machado (D-Linden), who voted for the measure, urged Knox to remove the lawsuit provision (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.