Washington, D.C. — Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a measure guaranteeing that employees who work 30 or more days within a year can earn up to a minimum of three paid sick days a year. Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following statement in response:
I congratulate California for taking a historic step to provide paid sick leave to most workers. Nearly 7 million California workers have no paid sick days, but many of them can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they are now less likely to lose a job or miss a paycheck because of illness or because they need to take time off to care for a sick loved one. I commend leaders in California for recognizing that paid sick leave policy is a win-win for workers and business, promoting a healthier and more successful workforce. If we want to truly value families, the 21st century workforce needs policies to help families balance their responsibilities at home and at work.
Although California has taken a significant step toward making paid leave a reality for all workers, more must be done to provide every worker with the flexibility to manage both their workplace and caregiving responsibilities. The law’s home care worker exemption leaves behind those who provide essential in-home care for seniors and people with disabilities who are often paid the lowest wages. Moving forward, policymakers and business leaders can continue making gains by adopting fully inclusive paid leave policies that protect all workers and their families.
Nationally, more than 41 million U.S. workers lack access to paid sick leave if they or a family member fall ill, with the burden disproportionately falling on part-time and low-wage workers. Guaranteed sick leave for all workers is essential to creating a 21st century economy that protects hardworking families and expands the middle class.
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.5328.