California governor lauds passage of 'historic' sick leave bill

Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:40pm EDT

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference at Memoria y Tolerancia museum in Mexico City in this July 28, 2014, file photo. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference at Memoria y Tolerancia museum in Mexico City in this July 28, 2014, file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Related Topics

(Reuters) - A measure to grant California workers mandatory sick leave that passed the state legislature early on Saturday appeared poised to become law after Governor Jerry Brown lauded it as a historic achievement.

The bill would require employers to provide at least three days of annual paid sick leave to workers, who would accrue the time off at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked.

If Brown signs the measure into law, California will join Connecticut as the only states mandating paid sick leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Tonight, the Legislature took historic action to help hardworking Californians," Brown said in a statement. "This bill guarantees that millions of workers - from Eureka to San Diego - won’t lose their jobs or pay just because they get sick."

The bill passed the state Senate with a 22-8 vote late Friday and the Assembly early Saturday morning with a 52-25 vote.

Business groups have mostly opposed efforts to impose mandatory paid sick leave, saying that they could force businesses to pare back work forces and raise prices.

In contrast, some Democratic lawmakers said the California measure did not go far enough, because it does not cover home health care workers, most of whom are women.

“I resent the fact that we are picking between two sets of workers,” state Senator Holly Mitchell told the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research, some 44 percent of California workers may not have access to paid sick days.

A small but growing number of local governments have passed paid sick leave mandates, with San Francisco in 2006 becoming the first U.S. city to do so.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Leslie Adler)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (24)
dd606 wrote:
So in other words… You just forced everybody to give employees three days paid vacation.

Aug 30, 2014 1:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kahnie wrote:
@dd606: NO, you are granting paid sick leave–3 days per year. ‘Bout time. This is really dealing with low paid, non-union workers like McDonalds and their ilk as well as restaurant workers, servers, some small businesses and only hire a few workers and are NON-UNION or don’t have contracts.

Aug 30, 2014 2:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BillDexter wrote:
There was a time when working for McDonalds was considered a part time job for kids. Now we have people calling it their ‘occupation’ and collecting welfare, WIC, HUD housing and fully subsidized medical coverage while they do. So explain to me again how unchecked immigration is helping our economy?

Aug 30, 2014 3:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.