CalMatters: Sen. Lena Gonzalez plans to introduce a bill today to make permanent a pandemic-era policy that extends the number of paid sick leave days
In another effort to help workers, Sen. Lena Gonzalez plans to introduce a bill today to make permanent a pandemic-era policy that extends the number of paid sick leave days from three to seven — or 24 hours to 56.
Anyone who has worked 30 days within a year of being hired would be eligible, according to the bill language.
Gonzalez said the pandemic highlighted the “lifesaving impacts” of paid sick leave policies, but also exposed gaps in the safety net for working families. Those who work in the service sector — traditionally dominated by women and Latinos — are especially at a disadvantage, said the Democratic lawmaker from Long Beach.
- Gonzalez: “Ensuring the health and safety of workers should be just as important now as it was when we were at the height of the pandemic.”
Gonzalez also argues that allowing workers time to recover will help companies maintain productivity by reducing the number of people who have to call out sick.
The bill is sponsored by the California Labor Federation, now led by Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, a former Assemblymember who authored California’s original sick leave law in 2014. Past efforts to extend COVID-era sick leave policies have met opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce, which noted that many employers offer their own sick leave benefits.