Paid Sick Days Bill Sails through California Assembly

The bill that would extend three paid sick days to all California workers and has been heralded as a win-win for businesses and public health, cleared a major hurdle with its passage in the State Assembly today. AB 1522 was introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and passed handily and now moves to the Senate. 

The paid sick days bill has been getting a lot of love around the state, and the proof is in the pudding. An overwhelming majority of San Francisco businesses, which have been complying with a similar citywide law since 2007, say that they support a statewide effort and have even reported seeing a boost in staff morale and productivity while turnover has declined in many instances.

Jennifer Piallat, owner of Zazie Restaurant in San Francisco said:

“This vote is not just a victory for hourly wage workers, it’s a win for employers and the entire state of California. As a small business owner, I know from experience that paid sick days keep my business running efficiently, and I urge the Senate and Governor Brown to also approve this responsible reform.”

San Francisco business owners aren’t the only ones singing the bill’s praises. A staggering 85% of Californians support paid sick days for workers and the effort has the backing of healthcare and public health advocates, as well as labor unions and non-union workers.

Art Pulaksi, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation said in a statement: 

“No one should be forced to choose between going to work sick or putting food on the table for their families. Yet, that’s precisely the gut-wrenching choice millions of workers must make when an illness hits them or a member of their family.

When people are forced to go to work sick, it puts workers and consumers at risk, especially in industries like retail and food service, which are some of the least likely to provide earned sick days”

Now that AB 1522 has cleared the Assembly, it moves to the State Senate. Advocates of the bill are aggressively collecting signatures for a petition that supports the bill, and say they will continue with their full-court press until Governor Brown signs it into law. If you haven’t added your name to the petition yet, you can sign it (and share it!) here. http://bit.ly/psdletw