The Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted in favor of AB 1522 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales (D-San Diego), which would require all employers, large and small, to provide employees in California with paid sick leave.
The California Restaurant Association (CRA) voiced concerns with the legislation specifically stating the distinct nature of the industry and the ability to switch shifts from week to week, which allows an employee to make up any lost time they may have missed due to illness. In addition, it’s unfair to ask an employer to pay double the wages for two employees: the employee out sick and the employee needed to cover the shift.
Requiring all employers to provide sick leave will create a huge burden and a significant cost increase on business. Employers in California are preparing for a $1 increase in the state’s minimum wage on July 1. California employers cannot absorb all of these costs and also be forced to provide paid sick leave without cutting other costs, such as labor. The bill passed on a party-line vote and will move to the Senate Judiciary Committee.