On June 12, 2014, the state Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted in favor of Assembly Bill 1522 (pdf) which will require California employers, large and small, to provide paid sick leave. The bill is called the “Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act” (“HWHFA”?).
Under the proposed legislation, any employee who works at least seven days in a calendar year is entitled to sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. (San Francisco employers have been living with a similar municipal scheme for a few years.) The employee is entitled to use the paid sick time after 90 days of employment for diagnosis or treatment of a health condition of the employee or a family member. The paid time off can also be used for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault. The bill contains provisions for statutory penalties and litigation for alleged employer violations.
This increased cost of paid sick leave is proposed at a time when California employers are already bracing for a $1.00 increase in the minimum wage starting in July. The bill has been opposed by major employer groups such as the California Retailers Association and the California Restaurant Association. It has been labeled a “job killer’ by the California Chamber of Commerce.
AB-1522 has already passed the Assembly, and, after review by the Senate Judiciary Committee, is expected to easily pass the full Senate. Governor Brown might issue a surprise veto, but he is generally expected to sign the bill in a nod to his Labor base. The law would go into effect next year.
Thanks to Dave Faustman for this post.