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.
A soldier from the San Diego area died as a result of a "non-combat related" incident in Kosovo, the Department of Defense said Friday.
Authorities Friday released the name of a lawman who opened fire on an assault suspect who allegedly charged him with a machete over his head in a busy intersection near Grossmont Center mall.
Law enforcement agencies across San Diego County are planning to crack down on drunken driving over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.
A two vehicle crash left one person critically injured Friday in Emerald Hills, according to authorities.
Some of the smartest high school students in San Diego County will be in Atlanta this weekend competing in the National Quiz Bowl Championship.
Californians Aware, a statewide group that advocates for government transparency, Friday expressed concern over a soon-to-take- effect San Diego Unified School District policy to delete most emails after one year.
Millions of Southern Californians will be taking to the roads and airways Friday as the Memorial Day travel crunch goes into high gear, and the large crowds will likely test the patience of motorists and airline passengers.
Several good Samaritans, including a grandmother, disregarded their own safety today when they helped subdue and disarm a knife- waving man who attacked the driver of a bus full of schoolchildren in a rural neighborhood in southeastern San Diego County.
An animal known as the San Quintin Kangaroo rat and native to Baja California is back from the brink of extinction.