Calif. Second State to|Mandate Paid Sick Days

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – California became the second state in the country to require paid sick days for all workers, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the “Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families” act into law Wednesday.
     The bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, requires employers to give paid sick leave to their employees who work at least 30 days per year – regardless of whether they are full or part time.
     Employees will earn a minimum of one hour sick leave for every 30 hours worked under the scheme. According to Brown, roughly 40 percent of the Golden State’s workers – or 6.5 million people – will get paid sick time under the new law.
     “Whether you’re a dishwasher in San Diego or a store clerk in Oakland, this bill frees you of having to choose between your family’s health and your job,” Brown said. “Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first.”
     Gonzalez said her bill – passed largely along party lines – is “pro-family, pro-worker and pro-public health.”
     “As a single working mom, I know firsthand the challenge of having to juggle a sick child who needs to see a doctor and your responsibilities at work. But no parent should have to experience the heartache of having to choose between making the rent and taking care of their child,” Gonzalez said.
     Currently, only Connecticut mandates paid sick time, although several cities have some kind of sick leave ordinance on their books. Massachusetts voters will decide the issue for themselves in November.
     House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., applauded the new law and called on Congress to make paid sick time a law nationally “in order to jumpstart the middle class.”
     The law goes into effect on July 1, 2015.

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