by Jenny Kazan-Mills, SPHR
According to a Union-Tribune article published on January 22, 2014, Legislation (AB 1522) has been introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez which would require all California businesses to provide paid sick leave for both part and full-time employees.
The main elements of the legislation include:
- Employees could earn up to 24 hours of leave a year
- Sick leave would be accrued at one hour for every 30 hours worked
- Sick days could be used to care for an ill family member or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault
- A portion of the sick leave could be carried over into the next year
Proponents for the bill state that employees would be less likely to come to work ill, reducing the likelihood that illnesses will spread in the workplace. Additionally, employees would not be forced to send their children to school sick. Opponents state that the cost to businesses is too high – many small businesses are barely hanging on, especially after the recent recession. Another concern is that adding additional mandates to small businesses would drive companies out of California.
Currently in the state of California, only the City of San Francisco has a similar ordinance. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, 86% of businesses voluntarily provide some type of sick leave for employees. SDEA will continue to provide updates on this important legislation.