Workers Join Senator Lena Gonzalez to Champion SB 616 Paid Sick Leave for All Working Californians, Bill Clears Senate Labor, Public Employment & Retirement Committee

April 19, 2023

Sacramento, Calif. – On April 19, 2023, Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) legislative colleagues, unions, workers, public health advocates, and community members came together to champion SB 616 Paid Sick Days for All Working Californians ahead of the bill’s hearing in the Senate Labor, Public Employment & Retirement Committee. In 2014 legislation was enacted to require employers to provide three paid sick days to employees who work 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment. SB 616 would increase the amount of paid sick leave required even further, from three days to seven. The bill passed the committee with a 4-1 vote.

“California’s workers are the backbone of our economy, it is because of them that we are poised to become the fourth largest economy in the world. When our working families can take the time they need to take care of their health and their loved ones’ health, everyone benefits” said Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach). Many businesses and cities in California are already providing more paid sick leave than is required by the law because they know when their workers are healthy, we can overcome great challenges together for our communities and our economy, so let’s raise the bar on paid sick leave by passing SB 616”.

“Securing additional guaranteed paid sick leave protects families and all Californians,” said Assemblywoman Carrillo. “As a safety net provision, that would provide a lifeline to millions of workers, none of whom should miss out on paychecks because they or a family member are in need of medical care. Over the last few years amid COVID-19, we have seen the monumental and unprecedented challenges of working people, especially those that were and continue to be, frontline and essential workers. If our goal is to establish a California for all, we must change and update policies that haven’t worked and that don’t support the majority of working Californians. SB 616 is a step in the right direction, and I am proud to be a co-author.”

“In January I had to be hospitalized for two weeks because of a neuropathy infection. In total, I was out for more than a month. At Wendy’s, where I’ve worked for 24 years, I only got 3 days of paid sick leave—not nearly enough. I’ve seen first-hand how my co-workers in fast food are forced to work sick because they can’t afford to miss work without pay,” said Jose Hernandez, fast food worker at Wendy’s in Sacramento and leader in the Fight for $15 Movement. “This is why we need your support with SB 616. These four extra days of paid sick leave would bring much relief to us in the fast-food industry. We shouldn’t have to work sick and expose others in order to survive while we’re sick or during health scares like the one I had.”

"Without enough paid sick leave, one bad episode of vertigo could put me closer to disciplinary action and at risk of losing the job I love so much and not being able to afford rent, or helping to take care of my grandchildren," said Adriana Soto, a hostess at Disney’s California Adventure on Buena Vista Street/Hollywood and member of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324. "SB 616, by Senator Gonzalez who represents my UFCW 324 brothers and sisters in Long Beach, recognizes that three paid sick days isn’t enough, raising it to seven days. This is an important bill to ensure workers can stay home when we’re sick without having to worry about being disciplined, losing our job, or feeding our family."



Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her family. Website of Senator Lena Gonzalez:

Assemblywoman Carrillo was elected to serve in the State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 52nd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles and South Glendale. She serves as the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, in addition to the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Health, Housing and Community Development, Utilities and Energy, Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation, and the Joint Committees on Legislative Budget, and Climate Change Policies. She also serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Latina Inequities, Vice Chair of the Legislative Progressive Caucus, as a Commissioner for the California Film Commission and serves on the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Board.

The California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO represents over 1,200 affiliated unions in California with over 2.2 million union members in trucking, retail, hospitality, janitorial, construction, health care, local and state government, education, arts and entertainment, warehousing and logistics, manufacturing, and a variety of other sectors.