Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law Wednesday morning to provide at least three days of paid sick leave annually to every worker in California, extending the benefit to some 6.5 million employees, or about 40 percent of California’s workforce.
Beginning July 1, employers must now allow workers to begin accruing one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, among other parameters. The law makes California the second state in the U.S to mandate sick time, after Connecticut, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Statewide business interest groups opposed Assembly Bill 1522 on the grounds that it will eliminate thousands of jobs. John Kabateck, California director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the legislation was “extremely disappointing” and would exacerbate California’s weak business climate. “This will only serve to eliminate any plans small employers have to grow and expand their businesses,” Kabateck said in a statement.
The governor signed the bill during a ceremony in Los Angeles. In a statement, his administration highlighted a Shriver Report poll that showed paid sick leave was the public policy that single mothers said would help them the most.
On Tuesday, Brown signed other union-backed legislation to extend anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns and to require sexual harassment training programs to teach about “abusive conduct,” or behavior perceived as offensive or hostile. Organized labor groups have pushed another bill to require employers to share liabilities with contractors or temp agencies. That bill is pending on the governor’s desk.
Last year, Brown signed a law that raised the state minimum wage to $9 an hour as of July 2014, and increases to $10 in 2016.