Bill Expanding Paid Sick Days Gets Approval From Assembly Labor Committee
SACRAMENTO – (Wednesday, April 11, 2018) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) won approval a key Assembly committee today for her bill enabling California workers to earn a minimum of five sick days per year. The bill, AB 2841, expands on her landmark 2014 legislation that made California the first state to guarantee paid sick leave for all private-sector employees across every industry.
“We have seen that by providing earned sick days to every employee in California, we have strengthened our workforce and our economy,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said. “Adding two additional days will give countless workers, especially in low-wage jobs, a huge amount of relief, both financially and emotionally, when they or a loved one simply come down with the flu.”
The Assembly’s Committee on Labor and Employment approved the bill on a vote of 5-2. The bill now heads to the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s AB 1522 from 2014 required employers to provide workers with a minimum of three earned sick days a year. Under the law created by AB 1522, employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours of work and are eligible to use that sick leave after 90 days of employment. They can use sick days to care for themselves or a sick family member.
Before Gov. Brown signed that bill, roughly 44 percent of private-sector workers in California did not have access to paid sick leave, according to a study by the Women’s Policy Research Institute. An estimated 6.5 million California workers benefitted from the passage of AB 1522.
Many states and cities across the nation followed California’s lead, passing earned-sick-days laws of their own. Some of those states now surpass California in number of mandatory earned sick days. Among the states allowing workers to earn five paid sick days are Maryland, Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, Oregon and Connecticut.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu-related hospitalization rates this year have outpaced anything seen in recent years, with flu-related absences being one work week on average.
Workers without sufficient paid sick days are more likely to go to work sick or send a sick child to school. Both scenarios create public-health problems, place extra costs on businesses and extra burdens on schools.
AB 2841 would ensure workers have accrued and are able to use no less than 40 hours, or 5 days, of sick leave by their 200th calendar day of employment. Employers may cap the amount of paid sick leave a worker earns at 80 hours, or 10 days. A worker would be able to carry over up to 5 days of sick leave into the following year of employment.
For more information on this issue or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, contact Alex Roth at 619-228-3253.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher visit https://a80.asmdc.org/