A new sick leave bill for California, AB 2716, which has already passed the Assembly is on its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee next week. This bill is remarkably similar to San Francisco’s Health Care Initiative.
Like the San Francisco law it’s modeled on, AB2716 would require employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked by an employee.
Small businesses of 10 employees or fewer could limit sick leave to five days per year; other employers would have to allow at least nine days per year.
Employees could use the time for their own illness or medical appointments, or to care for a sick spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, grandparent or sibling. In a slight variation from the San Francisco law, they could also use the time to deal with recovery from domestic violence or sexual assault.
The California Chamber of Commerce is opposed to this bill, and has stated that the costs would be an undue burden upon California employers:
The ever-increasing burden of costly mandates on employers can cumulatively result in lower wages, reducing available health insurance, limiting training programs and job loss or reduced work hours. Job loss translates to lower tax revenues from employers and employees, as well as increased use of unemployment insurance.
The CalChamber believes that in an already-troubled economy, California should be seeking ways to stimulate job growth and avoid forcing costly mandates onto employers.
I have to say, I can see both sides of the story here. I personally believe that every employee should have an opportunity to receive health care at little or no cost, however, it becomes difficult to condone state mandated health care to employers who now would have to spend more money in this very troubled financial climate.
I guess its best to abstain from judgment and see how it all plays out.