Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation requiring most California employers to provide up to three sick days to their employees. The new legislation will be included in laws enforced by the rules of employment law. Employers will now provide paid sick leave at the minimum rate of one hour leave per every 30 hours worked.
Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014
The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) covers employees who work 30 or more days per year. According to the Governor’s office, about 6.5 million (roughly 40 percent) of California’s workforce does not currently receive paid sick leave.
Dishwasher to Store Clerk
“Whether you’re a dishwasher in San Diego or a store clerk in Oakland, this bill frees you of having to choose between your family’s health and your job,” said Governor Brown. “Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first.” This is great news for employees who have previously had go unpaid if they were sick, or run the risk of getting sicker, or making their co-worker sick, because they had to work during their illness.
“Essential for health of families”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Paid sick leave is essential for the health of our families, the strength of our workers, and the success of the middle class. California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act will help lower health care costs, reduce employee turnover, prevent the spread of illnesses, and support both women and men caring for their families. In order to jumpstart the middle class, Congress must now follow California’s lead and guarantee paid sick leave for workers across the entire country.”
The new law was not signed without opposition. A statement released by the National Federation of Independent Business in California said that the law kills plans of small employers looking to expand their businesses, while also damaging the state’s business climate. Group director John Kabateck said, “Our small business owners, who make up more than 99 percent of the employer community in California, already face an increase in minimum wage, among the highest taxes and more regulations than any other state.”
The law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.