Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Secures Paid Sick Leave Rights for Working Californians

For immediate release:

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Secures Paid Sick Leave Rights for Working Californians

Click here for Assemblywoman Carrillo’s remarks on Paid Sick Leave from the Budget Hearing.

Click here for Assemblywoman Carrillo’s remarks on Paid Sick Leave from the Assembly floor.

As both Chair of the Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration, and Los Angeles’s 51st Assembly District representative, Assemblywoman Carrillo led the charge to extend emergency paid sick leave to working Californians, and while ensuring  employers have the financial support, guidance, and protections they need.

(Sacramento, CA) – Working Californians will now be able to take COVID-19 paid sick leave under a new law championed by Assemblywoman Wendy Carillo (AD-51, Los Angeles) and Assemblywoman Lorena González (AD-80, San Diego). Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 95, which guarantees that California’s workers would be able to receive up to two weeks of supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave. Paired with federal dollar for dollar payroll tax credits, California’s business owners and employers will be able to afford to protect their workers.

“Latino essential workers have been impacted disproportionately across the state,” said Assemblywoman Carrillo. “Paid sick leave is critical not only for the well-being of our dedicated workforce, but for the safety of their families, customers and communities. Under SB95, workers can rest assured they will be able to take time off if they or a loved one gets sick, need to quarantine or attend an appointment to be vaccinated. California’s essential workers who have not had the privilege to stay home during the pandemic are deserving of protections that ultimately save lives. Combined with other initiatives implemented by the state to support workers and their employers, paid sick leave will help ensure California remains on the right track as we continue to make progress to safely reopen the state,” she added.

All forms of employer-provided COVID-19-specific emergency paid sick leave expired on December 31, 2020, and workers have since been left with either insufficient or no rights to sick leave while recovering from COVID-19, quarantining following exposure, or caring for a family member sick with COVID-19.

The end of these programs—the Federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and AB 1867, which filled in gaps created by FFCRA—forced countless Californians to work when they should not have had to, effectively abandoning them to suffer through a horrible, painful illness at work, and potentially making their co-workers and members of the public susceptible to COVID-19 exposure.

Studies found that the emergency paid sick leave provisions in FFCRA benefited workers’ health and reduced the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the American Rescue Plan of 2021 will reimburse covered employers for the cost of providing this leave through September 30, 2021.

SB 95 emergency paid sick leave proposal includes the following provisions:

  • Reestablishes supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave for workers at public and private employers with more than 25 employees.
  • Allows workers to use paid sick leave when recovering from COVID-19 or the side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Provides 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave until September 30, 2021.
  • Employers with 25 or fewer employees have been exempted from this effort, however, federal tax credits are still available where employers can still provide paid sick leave.

Given the extremely time-sensitive need for this leave, Assemblywoman Carrillo urged legislators to approve this proposal immediately as part of the early action budget package. She made it clear that our state could not wait for later budget discussions or even legislation with an urgency clause; workers—and the public depending on them—need these programs extended now.

 

Supporting California’s Economy

Paid sick leave is an indispensable component of the plan for equitable recovery for California’s businesses and jobs. As Chair of Budget Sub 4 and representative of the 51st Assembly District, Assemblywoman Carrillo secured critical budget action to help California businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers Build Back Better, including:

  • $1.5 billion to accelerate our state’s progress toward zero-emission vehicle and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure goals that create sustainable jobs.
  • $1.075 billion in grants for California’s small businesses – more than doubling the immediate relief available to the backbone of our state’s economy.
  • $777.5 million in additional investments earmarked for job creation and retention, regional development, as well as small businesses and climate innovation.
  • $500 million to create jobs in long-term housing development to unlock permanently affordable homes for Californians.
  • $353 million in workforce development, apprenticeships, and healthcare, technology, and workforce sector of the future training.
  • $70.6 million for fee waivers to individuals and 59,000 business types severely impacted by the pandemic – including barbers, cosmetologists, manicurists, bars and restaurants.
  • Waivers of the minimum franchise tax and elimination of start-up businesses barriers.