Historic paid sick leave bill proposed

February 27, 2008 3:05:58 PM PST
California may become the first state in the nation to force employers to offer sick leave benefits to nearly every employee.

San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma will introduce the legislation to the public at City Hall later this morning. She'll be accompanied by a couple of people who could use this bill: a food service worker and mother of two, and a single mother of three with two part-time jobs.

Also on had will be a doctor and some nurses. According to Ma, 40 percent of state workers get no paid leave. They go to work sick and they make others sick.

The bill would allow workers to accrue paid days to care for themselves, sick family members or to recover from domestic violence or sexual assault.

Other states have considered it but no other states have passed it.

The law would apply to everyone. If you have a house cleaner or a nanny, it would apply to you.

It's modeled after a San Francisco law requiring paid sick leave. Some businesses oppose it saying that it would force them to lower wages in order to have the money to pay for sick days and substitute workers.

Even Fiona Ma admits, the chances of this law passing are fairly low. The governor has vetoed other bills which expand the sick leave law in California before and there's no reason to think he wouldn't veto this one.

The bill will be proposed at 10:30 a.m. at San Francisco City Hall.


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