BY SUSAN CARPENTER
LONG BEACH, Calif. — For all COVID’s negatives, there was one major upside for California workers last year: supplemental paid sick leave that guaranteed employees ten days off if they fell ill. For many service workers, that was a vast improvement from the three days of paid sick leave employers are required to provide under California law.
Now that expanded compensated sick leave is over, a proposed bill in the state legislature is seeking to raise the required minimum. SB 616 would increase guaranteed paid sick leave to seven days and also allow employees to carry over seven sick days to the following year.
“We talk a lot about California being the fourth largest economy, but that is solely because of our hardworking California workforce that has been showing up every single day,” California Sen. and SB 616 author Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach, said at a rally Wednesday. “California is a leader in a lot of ways, but paid sick leave is one where we’re actually trailing behind many other states.”