Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that requires employees be given three paid sick days – legislation that was opposed by business groups as a job killer.
The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who said the bill would prevent employers from firing workers who are sick or taking care of sick relatives.
The legislation, which goes into effect July 1 of next year, requires employees who work at least 30 days within a year of being hired be given sick leave. At a minimum, one hour of sick leave would accrue for every 30 hours on the job.
Though many companies provide sick time, not all do and there is no current requirement they do so. About 6.5 million California workers are expected to benefit from the legislation.
The bill was opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) and other business groups that contend it will drive up labor costs and reduce employment.
“The paid sick leave bill is a blanket solution to a nonexistent problem. Paid sick leave and other benefits are best addressed by individual employers, who understand the needs of their business and staff best,” VICA President Stuart Waldman told the Business Journal.
“AB 1522 will once again raise the cost of doing business in the state, encouraging businesses to look elsewhere,” he added.