LOS ANGELES – Putting California’s workers first, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which provides paid sick days to the millions of Californians — roughly 40% of the state’s workforce — who do not currently earn this benefit.
“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.”
Under current state law, approximately 6.5 million workers in California cannot take a paid day off when they are ill or a family member is sick.
“As a single working Mom, I know first-hand the challenge of having to juggle a sick child who needs to see a doctor and your responsibilities at work,” said Assemblymember Gonzalez. “But no parent should have to experience the heartache of having to choose between making the rent and taking care of their child. I am exceptionally proud to have authored this pro-family, pro-worker and pro-public health legislation and very grateful that my Democratic colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Brown also appreciate the need enough to make California the leader in the nation on this issue.”
This bill specifically requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from commencement of employment and employees will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
“Today, we celebrate a major victory for the 6.5 million hardworking Californians who will no longer have to sacrifice their health to avoid missing work and losing income,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Employers benefit, workers benefit and ultimately, the California economy benefits.”
With the Governor’s signature, California becomes only the second state in the nation to require paid sick leave. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 will go into effect July 1, 2015.
National Leaders Weigh In
“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.”
“When the Shriver Report polled American workers, the number one thing women who live paycheck to paycheck said would make a difference in their lives was sick leave,” said journalist, founder of the Shriver Report and former First Lady Maria Shriver. “California listened and got them what they asked for. Who’s next? I hope the rest of the country follows California’s lead.”
For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov