Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Paid Sick Days Legislation Clears Assembly Labor and Employment Committee

SACRAMENTO – AB 1000 Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2009 authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) passed out of Assembly Labor and Employment Committee with a vote of 2-4. AB 1000 will allow workers to earn and use paid sick days for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from domestic violence or sexual assault.

"We are not robots. We all get sick, our family members and loved ones get sick," said Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. "Millions of California´s workers are forced to go to work sick because they can´t take a day off to rest and recuperate. When we go to school or work sick we put others at risk. AB 1000 enhances public health and supports the economic security of California´s families."

Nearly six million Californians – more than two in five workers in the state – do not get any paid sick days. Going to work sick creates unhealthy workplaces and puts the health of our families and communities at risk. According to a 2008 Field Research Corporation poll, 73 percent of California voters support a law guaranteeing workers a minimum number of paid sick days. In recent years, a movement for paid sick days has grown at the local, state and federal level across the country. If passed, the paid sick days legislation would make California the first state in the nation to allow workers to earn paid sick days.

Prior to the hearing, public health experts and workers rights groups gathered at the State Capitol to emphasize the significant public health benefits of a proposed law that would allow California workers to earn paid sick days. Public health experts shared findings from a newly released study by the Human Impact Partners (HIP) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPF), which found that that food handling by sick workers contributes to a substantial share of food-borne disease outbreaks in California.