SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A bill authored by a San Diego legislator to provide three annual paid sick days to workers in California was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown signed AB 1522, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, at the state building in Los Angeles.
"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," Brown said. "Make no mistake, California is putting its workers first."
The governor said 40 percent of workers in the state don't accrue paid sick leave. California is just the second state in the nation to have such a requirement for workers who would not otherwise be granted sick time, according to the governor's office. Connecticut has a similar law, but Gonzalez said California's is more expansive.
"We become the first state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for every single private-sector worker in the state -- no matter what industry they work in, no matter if they are part-time or seasonal, and regardless of the size of their employer," she said. "This means more than 6.5 million more workers in this state will be able to take up to three days off when they or their child is sick without fearing the loss of income, hours or their job."
The law, which will take effect July 1, requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from the start of their employment. Workers will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
Over the objections of union leaders, the bill was amended to provide exemptions for health-care aides who work with disabled or elderly residents through the state's In-Home Supportive Services program.
The bill was strongly opposed by Republicans and business groups, who said the requirement will create a burden for employers. Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, called it "ill-considered" and "heavy-handed."
Supporters say employees who do not receive paid leave have to come to work while ill, even in jobs that involve public contact or food preparation. Many workers also have to choose between going to work or caring for a sick loved one, they say.
In San Diego, meanwhile, a new ordinance that will raise the minimum wage to a level above the state standard provides five paid sick days.
Opponents are gathering signatures to overturn the San Diego ordinance, primarily because of the minimum wage increase.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.