New California laws for 2024: Senate Bill 616 will provide five paid sick days per year for California workers beginning on January 1, instead of the three days that businesses are currently required to provide.
In addition, Lena Gonzalez’s bill gives unionized workers protection against retribution, but it excludes unpaid sick leave clauses for railroad workers.
For supporters, which included numerous unions and advocacy groups for women and families, it was a noteworthy but only partially successful outcome. Negotiations during the legislative process resulted in a final version that was shorter than their original request of seven days.
The California Work & Family Coalition praised the law as “a commonsense change,” one of many initiatives passed during the previous session to improve work-life balance.
However, chambers of commerce throughout the state and trade associations representing a variety of industries, including the California Grocers Association and California Hotel & Lodging Association, contended that the law would harm small businesses that have not yet recovered from the pandemic, are already struggling with inflation, and cannot afford the extra expense of covering for sick workers.
Among the top five “compliance headaches” for California’s small business owners in 2024, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, are the new law and SB 848, which forbids employers from denying up to five days of “reproductive loss leave” due to miscarriages, unsuccessful adoptions, and other incidents.
The state Chamber of Commerce has dubbed the sick leave law a “job killer,” and employers have now released guidelines to help deal with its complexity. Federal law does not require employers to provide paid sick leave.
Although California was the second state in the country to implement paid sick leave in 2014, it now offers less time off than fifteen states as well as numerous cities within the state, such as San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.
The bill still forced too many people to choose between taking care of themselves or their loved ones when they were sick or missing a day of work.
He made this statement in a statement: “We’re making it known that the health and wellbeing of workers and their families is of the utmost importance for California’s future.”
Although there has previously been a sick leave expansion, the COVID-19 epidemic has made it more necessary than ever. A new regulation that went into effect in March 2021 mandated that larger businesses provide up to ten extra days’ notice for vaccine side effects or quarantines. However, six months later, both the benefit and the federal tax credits that had funded it disappeared.