Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mandatory Sick Leave Bill Dies in Senate

On August 7th, the California Senate Appropriations Committee killed AB 2716, the mandatory sick leave bill, which would have made California the first state to require paid sick leave for all workers. The bill died amid opposition from business lobbyists and lawmaker concerned that the benefit was too costly.

Under AB 2716, sponsored by Assembly member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), workers would have received one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees of small companies in California would take up to five days of paid sick leave each year, while workers at larger firms would take up to nine.

A study by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation had predicted that if the bill became law, it would cost 370,000 jobs in California and would burden employers with $4.6 billion in new costs over in five years.

Passed through the California Assembly in May, the Bill was skipped over this time, and failed to move forward. Ma, who modeled the bill after the city of San Francisco ordinance that passed in 2006, said “Currently five to six million workers in California do not have paid sick days, and that represents about 40 percent of the work force,” She also pledged to reintroduce the bill next year.

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