California’s State Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) has amended Senate Bill 616, proposing an extension of paid sick leave (PSL) up to 40 hours for workers. This move seeks to amend Section 246 of the state’s Labor Code, potentially ensuring more extended health-related respite for employees.
The existing California sick leave law mandates paid sick leave for those who’ve worked with an employer for a minimum of 30 days within a year in California and successfully complete a 90-day employment window. This provision, while already in place, has been under scrutiny, especially in light of a BambooHR report highlighting that a staggering 89% of US workers powered through their jobs despite illness last year.
The proposed amendments aim to be flexible. Employers might employ different accrual methods, ensuring employees get at least 24 hours of PSL or paid time off (PTO) by their 120th working day. By the 200th day, this could rise to 40 hours.
However, SB-616 isn’t free from controversy. A collection of employer groups has voiced concerns, citing the financial strains of the pandemic era and the potential for this bill to exacerbate challenges. They argue that the increasing layers of leave — whether paid or unpaid — might stretch businesses thin, leading to potential understaffing or overtime costs.
Despite this, advocates argue for the necessity of the bill. “Three days is not enough,” stated the California Work & Family Coalition, emphasizing the pressing need for more extended sick leave, especially for parents.
As the pandemic temporarily boosted paid sick leave provisions, California now stands at a crossroads — balancing worker health and business viability.
If you’ve been denied rightful sick leave or faced employment violations, contact Labor Law Advocates in California. Our team of employment lawyers and workplace law specialists are here to ensure you receive the legal protection and compensation you deserve.Don’t wait — call us today!