Many California workers would be entitled to more than twice the amount of paid sick leave each year if a bill that has been introduced in the state legislature is passed and signed into law. It would increase the number of compensated sick days from three per year to seven per year, and it would also raise the amount of sick leave that workers can accrue every 12 months from six to 14 days. If the bill is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsome, it will go into effect in January 2024.
Passage not assured
The proposed legislation is supported by labor unions, but its passage is far from assured. The sick leave bill does not require employers to compensate workers who are fired or quit for their unused sick days, but it does allow workers to carry over up to seven unused sick days each year. No action has been taken on the bill since it was referred to committee in February.
Sick leave in San Diego
Some California cities have more generous sick leave and wage and hour laws. Workers in San Diego can accrue up to 80 hours of sick leave each year, and the city’s employers are required to carry all unused sick days forward. Workers can use their accrued sick leave to care for themselves or their family members. Federal law does not require employers to provide any paid sick days, but the Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year.
Good for workers and employers
Paid sick leave is good for both workers and employers. Workers who know that they will be paid if they become ill are less likely to spread disease in the workplace, and employers that offer more paid sick leave than the law requires may find it easier to recruit and retain talented employees.