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San Diego Assemblywoman’s Bill Requiring Employee Sick Leave Advances In California Assembly

A bill requiring employers to offer workers at least three paid sick days a year has cleared its first hurdle in the California Assembly.

Aired 3/21/14 on KPBS News.

A bill requiring employers to offer workers at least three paid sick days a year has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The bill, which would cover all employers in the state, was approved by an Assembly committee on Wednesday.

The measure would apply to all people who work for an employer at least seven days in a calendar year.

Under the measure, workers could use their three paid sick days to care for themselves, or for a family member. Workers would also be allowed to carry over unused sick leave into the next year.

Democratic San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who wrote the bill, said about 40 percent of California’s private sector workers do not earn paid sick time.

“As of today, there are six million Californians who don’t have the opportunity to even take an hour off if they’re sick, or if their child is sick and they need to take their child to the doctor," Gonzalez said. "And so, right now we need to create kind of a minimum standard throughout the state.”

Gonzalez points out the vast majority of low-wage workers earn no sick time at all.

A coalition of business groups complains the bill would create a huge burden for employers.

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