Governor Brown signs bill giving paid sick leave to California workers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Wednesday that will require most California employers next year to provide up to three sick days for millions of workers. The bill requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) on Wednesday. The bill requires employers to cover paid sick leave for employees who work 30 or more days per year. The Governor's office says currently about 6.5 million, or 40 percent, of California's workforce does not receive paid sick leave.

"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," said Governor Brown. "Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first."

"Paid sick leave is essential for the health of our families, the strength of our workers, and the success of the middle class," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "California's Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act will help lower health care costs, reduce employee turnover, prevent the spread of illnesses, and support both women and men caring for their families. In order to jumpstart the middle class, Congress must now follow California's lead and guarantee paid sick leave for workers across the entire country."

The National Federation of Independent Business in California said in a statement that the law will kill plans by small employers to expand their businesses, while damaging the state's business climate.

"Our small business owners, who make up more than 99 percent of the employer community in California, already face an increase in minimum wage, among the highest taxes and more regulations than any other state," said John Kabateck, the group's executive director.

The law will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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