California governor to sign mandatory sick leave bill

Employers would be required to provide 3 paid sick days

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) — California Governor Jerry Brown said on Tuesday he would sign a bill requiring businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees, the latest of several moves by Democratic lawmakers to aid low-income workers in the most populous U.S. state.

The bill would require employers to provide at least three days of annual paid sick leave to workers, who would accrue the time off at a rate of one hour per 30 hours worked. Last autumn, the Democratic governor signed a bill raising the minimum wage in the state to US$10 an hour by 2016.

Brown is scheduled to sign the legislation at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Wednesday. California would become the second state in the country, after Connecticut, to require paid days off for employees who are ill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

According to the Washington-based Institute for Women's Policy Research, some 44 per cent of California workers may not have access to paid sick days.

Numerous business groups opposed the bill, saying it would be too costly to pay for the sick days.

A small but growing number of local governments have passed paid sick-leave mandates, with San Francisco in 2006 becoming the first U.S. city to do so.

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