Newsom signs legislation to expand workers’ paid sick leave to 5 days a year 

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CALIFORNIA – Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation, Wednesday, guaranteeing five paid sick days per year beginning January 1, 2024.

The office says the working sick costs the national economy $273 billion annually in lost productivity — offering sick days helps save employers money.

According to Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the average US business provides between 6-10 paid sick days per year. However, 47% of Americans took 3 or fewer paid sick days in the last 12 months.

Reasons why employees may not take enough sick leave include pressure from their employer, a belief it will hurt their reputation or not enough sick leave available.

More sick leave

The new law increases the time up from the current three days, while also increasing the accrual and carryover amounts.

SB 616 requires employers to provide five sick days to employees who work 30 or more days. Five paid sick days can be carried over from one year to the next. 

The law also increases accrual thresholds for paid sick leave to 10 days for businesses that work under accrued days.

The National Partnership for Women and Families says businesses get cost savings from greater workforce stability.

“Replacing workers typically costs 24 percent of annual compensation, and as much as 150 percent in some industries. Paid sick days reduce turnover, particularly for mothers and for employees with health shocks such as a cancer diagnosis” said the National Partnership for Women and Families.

RELATED: 500,000 California fast food workers to get $20 minimum wage in 2024

Opposition to SB 616

A coalition of employer groups estimated that unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly employee in California.

“Despite the economic struggles that businesses have faced recently, the number of overlapping leaves has grown over the last few years and continues to grow,” they wrote in letters to legislators

They go on to state that while some are paid and some are unpaid, event unpaid leaves increases costs on employers because the employer must either shift the work to other existing employees on short notice, which leads to overtime pay, or be understaffed.

On the other hand, the Small Business Majority supported the increased paid sick days.

To read the full bill visit https://legiscan.com/CA/text/SB616/id/2840239

 

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