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Study: Sick Leave Measure Would Benefit Public Health

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Aired 4/19/09

A new study says a measure in the Assembly that would require California employers to provide sick leave would be beneficial for public health. The report comes from UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Under the Assembly bill, California would become the first state to mandate employers to provide paid sick leave. Workers could earn up to nine sick days a year. UC Berkeley researcher Korey Capozza says the measure would be good for public health. For example, she says nursing homes in New York that offered sick leave tended to have a much lower risk of a respiratory illness outbreak.

Capozza: So there's some indication that with paid sick leave, workers are less likely to come to work and to bring those bugs into the workplace and infect patients and clients and other workers. 

Even so, major business groups in the state like the Chamber of Commerce are opposed to making paid sick leave a mandatory benefit.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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