Will California Employers Have to Cough Up Paid Sick Leave?
The California Assembly passed earlier this year the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014” (Assembly Bill [AB] 1522), sending it over to the Senate for consideration. If passed into law, the measure would mandate all employers to provide at least three paid sick days per calendar year
HistoryThis is the Legislature's third attempt to enact such a law (previously in 2008 and 2011). In its current form, AB 1522 would direct that eligible workers earn (accrue) at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and may start using such benefits after three months of employment.
Pros and ConsThe California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO supports AB 1522 contending it will guarantee "every California worker paid time off to recover from illness, care for a sick family member, or bond with a new baby. AB 1522 also protects workers claiming this benefit from employer retaliation." While observing that many employer already voluntarily offer non-accruing sick leave to full-time workers, the California Chamber of Commerce's objects to the bill for its creating a "huge burden" on employers through required expansion of benefits to temporary, seasonal, and part-time employees.
Other states or cities with mandatory paid sick daysConnecticut is currently the only state that requires paid sick day benefits. Several cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, mandate such benefits.