Lorena Gonzalez’s Sick Leave Bill is Approved by Senate Committee

Assembly Member Lorena Gonzales

Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez

June 12, 2014 (San Diego) The State Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations back in March and is expected to move to the Judiciary on June 24th.

This Bill, of approved by the Assembly and the State Senate, and signed by the Governor, would mandate three days of accrued sick leave to all employees in the State of California. “AB 1522 aims to reduce the impact that illnesses have on the state’s working families as well as the health and safety of employees in the workplace.”

The Bill will also do other important things. It will reduce contagion in the work place and allow for workers to take care of themselves, or ill relatives without losing a pay day. “Under AB 1522, workers in California would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked and employers would have the option of capping an employee’s paid sick leave at 24 hours, or 3 days. Other states and cities – including Connecticut; New York City; Portland, Ore.; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco – have already adopted paid sick day laws.”

The City of San Diego is considering a measure that will go all the way to five days of accrued leave, and it is for similar reasons. As Gonzalez writes:

“Economic security:  Workers without paid sick days have to go to work sick or stay home, lose pay and risk job loss or workplace discipline. Nearly one quarter of adults in the United States (23 percent) report that they have lost a job or have been threatened with job loss for taking time off due to illness or to care for a sick child or relative.

Just 3.5 unpaid days off can cost a family without access to paid sick days, on average, its entire monthly grocery budget.

Cost effective:  Working people with paid sick days are more productive and less likely to leave their jobs, which saves businesses money by reducing turnover. And “presenteeism” – when employees work sick – is estimated to cost our national economy $160 billion in lost productivity each year.

Reduce community contagion: Workers without paid sick days are more likely to report going to work with a contagious illness like the flu or a viral infection —and risk infecting others.”

This will affect in particular food service workers, where 75% do not have sick leave. This also presents a health issue, as workers go to work with colds and flu that they proceed to give to both co-workers and clients. It will also reduce emergency room visits.



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