PAYDAY Workforce Solutions Blog

Update on California Paid Sick Leave Bill

On Jun 24, 2014

Assembly Bill 1522, aka the “Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act,” sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales (D-San Diego), recently passed the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee in the Assembly, and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.

It’s expected to easily pass the Senate and probably be signed into law by Governor Brown, according to Fox Rothschild LLP. The new law would mean that any California employee who has worked seven days in a calendar year would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, with unused sick leave carrying over to the following year. The law would also provide for litigation and penalties for employer violations.

The California Restaurant Association has been against AB 1522 since its introduction, saying there is already opportunity for sick employees to make up lost time due to the nature of the restaurant industry’s flexible shifts. The CRA states that it’s unfair to require employers to pay double wages because of employee illness because employers would be paying the employee out sick as well the employee who covers the shift.

The restaurant industry is not the only industry concerned about and against AB 1522. Richard B. Fowler, CalChamber Board member and president and chief executive officer of The Community College Foundation, says the paid sick leave mandate will hurt the Foundation as an employer of more than 500 part-time student interns of state government agencies and tutors for at-risk students in after school programs, as well as cause job loss and increased costs for social services.

Fowler says CCF has no additional resources to adapt AB 1522 mandates and would have to choose from one of three difficult choices if it’s passed into law:

  • Lower hourly wages to pay for the mandated leave.
  • Eliminate the jobs and lose the public benefit of student work.
  • Pass their costs on to the school districts and the state of California.

He calls the bill a one-size-fits-all approach that creates a mountain of unintended consequences, including a loss of critically needed services to California’s most at-risk population, loss of desperately needed jobs that fit students’ schedules, and driving up the cost of government funded social services. He says the bill is a lose-lose proposition for the state and organizations such as the Community College Foundation which are essential bridges for better full-time employment for so many Californians.

This is an update for our earlier blog post on Paid Sick Leave:

Contact PAYDAY for assistance in regards of paid sick leave.

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