Employers in California will be required to give part and full-time workers at least three days of paid sick leave each year under a state mandate that takes effect in July 2015.
The new law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday, gives workers paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked and lets them begin using the accrued time after 90 days of employment. The hours could also be used for time off to care for a sick family member.
The law, which advocates say expands paid sick leave benefits to 6.5 million workers, has been a priority for unions and workers' rights groups for years. Business groups oppose the measure, which they say is costly to employers and could hurt hiring.
Brown, who said there was a growing inequality between workers and business owners, called the mandate "really modest."
"When you look at the power and the wealth that is accumulated by a very small percentage, and then you look at the people at the bottom ... this is the least we can do and there's more in the coming years," Brown said. "This is a real step forward."
In 2006, San Francisco County became the first county in the nation to require employers to provide paid sick leave for all employees, including temporary and part-time employees, who work within the county.An April report by the National Partnership for Women and Families, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that...
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