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Newsom signs Senate bill for increased sick days


For ‘wellbeing of workers’

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill (SB) 616 authored by Sen. Lena Gonzales (33rd District) guaranteeing workers at least five paid sick days per year, up from the current three days, while also increasing the accrual and carryover amounts.

Newsom cited the importance of SB 616:

•  Working sick costs the national economy $273 billion annually in lost productivity. 

•  Two days of unpaid sick time is nearly the equivalent of a month’s worth of groceries.

•  Offering sick days helps save employers money through improved productivity and morale, as well as reduced presenteeism and turnover.

•  Increasing access to paid sick days reduces health care costs, with evidence showing that when workers have paid sick days such costs go down and workers’ health benefits.

“Too many folks are still having to choose between skipping a day’s pay and taking care of themselves or their family members when they get sick,” Newsom said. “We’re making it known that the health and wellbeing of workers and their families is of the utmost importance for California’s future.”

“Women and mothers are the default caregivers of sick family members. As such, they are more likely to be harmed by disrupted or lost wages when they need to take time off work,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom. “More paid sick days for all California workers will help ease this distinct burden on women, and bolster their economic security.”

“Today marks an exciting moment as our Golden State enacts SB 616, which gives five guaranteed paid sick leave days to California’s workers,” Gonzalez said. “This reinforces our state’s values and commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our workers. As workers and families face illnesses that can disrupt their wages and livelihoods, California has delivered and stepped up to protect and expand paid sick leave, providing a critical safety net to all working Californians.” Gonzalez added, “I extend my gratitude to Governor Newsom for signing this bill into law, and to my colleagues in the Legislature, and all the labor supporters, small businesses, and community members who united to advocate for this critical legislation.”