Mandatory Sick Leave Legislation Resurfaces in California
Last month, San Francisco Assemblywoman Fiona Ma reintroduced mandatory sick leave legislation in California. Under the bill, which is labeled Assembly Bill 400, employers with 10 or less employees would have to offer full-time employees five days of paid sick time annually. Employers of more than 10 employees would have to offer nine paid sick days per year to all full-time employees. The bill would provide that this sick leave is mandatory for any employee who works in California for 7 or more days in a calendar year. However, the provisions of the bill would not apply to any employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for sick leave.
The bill states that the leave would be available for diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or an employee’s family member, or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault. The bill also provides that there shall be a rebuttable presumption of unlawful retaliation if an employer denies an employee the right to use sick days, discharges, threatens to discharge, demotes, suspends, or in any manner discriminates against an employee within 90 days of filing a complaint under the statute or participates in any investigation related to denial of sick leave.
This is the third time Assemblywoman Fiona Ma has introduced mandatory paid sick leave legislation. It was introduced in 2008 and 2009 and defeated both times. The question now is whether the economic climate and/or the fact that we have a much more employee friendly Governor will cause this bill to be more seriously considered by the California Legislature.