Workers Quarantined or Isolated for Coronavirus Protected Under New Bill by Lorena Gonzalez

Thursday, March 5, 2020

SACRAMENTO – (Thursday, March 5, 2020) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) today announced new legislation, Assembly Bill 3123, to protect workers from retaliation when they take leave during public health emergencies, like the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

“Workers shouldn’t be fired if they miss work because they’ve been quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency like the coronavirus,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “We need to support workers so they can take every action necessary to prevent the spreading of this disease.” 

On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom officially declared a state of emergency in California over the coronavirus, which has now been reported in 12 counties in the state, sickened more than 50 people and killed at least one person.

Under AB 3123, an employee can use their earned sick leave if their place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or if the employee is providing care or assistance to their child, whose school or childcare provider is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency. 

If an employee is complying with an isolation or quarantine order issued by a public official due to a public health emergency, AB 3123 states that an employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against that employee. 

For questions on AB 3123 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov