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Bill would mandate sick pay for part-time employees

Santa Clarita opposes the proposed law, saying it could cost the city

Posted: July 9, 2014 6:19 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2014 6:19 p.m.

Santa Clarita City Council members took a stand this week to oppose a bill working its way through the state Legislature that would provide paid sick days to employees in California who work for 30 or more days in a calendar year.

Assembly Bill 1522, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, would provide that an employee who works in California for 30 or more days in a calendar year on or after July 1, 2015, would be entitled to paid sick days, accrued at a rate of “no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked,” according to the bill.

Employees would be entitled to use those accrued sick days beginning on the 90th calendar day of employment, according to the bill.

“Both workers and their employers lose out when employees have to choose between reporting for work while sick or losing pay because they don’t,” Gonzalez said in a prepared statement.

“Every time this choice comes up for a sick employee, everyone loses money — whether it’s through unnecessary emergency room costs, the billions of dollars lost in productivity annually when sick employees try to work while under the weather, or lost wages that impact whether working families can put food on the table.”

Employers would be authorized to limit an employee’s use of those paid sick days to 24 hours, or three days, in each calendar year, according to the bill.

City Council members voted Tuesday to oppose the bill, which could have a substantial impact on Santa Clarita due to the city’s estimated 585 part-time seasonal employees.

City spokesman Evan Thomason said the estimated financial impact to the city as a result of the bill could be as high as $180,000 per year.

“This is also a matter of local control because the bill proposes an unfunded mandate by the state, which would force cities across California to increase their expenditures unilaterally,” he said Wednesday.

The bill passed the state Assembly in May and is currently before the state Senate.

The Santa Clarita Valley’s two representatives in the state Assembly split on the bill, with Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, voting against it and Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, voting in favor.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney





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