SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Employees in California will quickly obtain a minimal of 5 days of paid sick depart yearly, as a substitute of three, below a brand new legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Wednesday.
The legislation, which takes impact in January, additionally will increase the quantity of sick depart employees can carry over into the next yr. Newsom stated it demonstrates that prioritizing the well being and well-being of employees “is of the utmost significance for California’s future.”
“Too many people are nonetheless having to decide on between skipping a day’s pay and caring for themselves or their members of the family after they get sick,” Newsom stated in a press release saying his motion.
It was certainly one of greater than a dozen payments the Democratic governor signed Wednesday. He has till mid-October to behave on all of the laws despatched to him this yr. He can signal, veto or let payments grow to be legislation with out his signature.
Past stopping employees from selecting between taking a time without work or getting paid, proponents of the sick day laws argue it should assist curb the unfold of illnesses and ensure staff may be productive at work. However the California Chamber of Commerce, which represents companies throughout the state, stated it is going to be burdensome for small companies.
“Far too many small employers merely can not take in this new value, particularly when seen in context of all of California’s different leaves and paid advantages, they usually should cut back jobs, reduce wages, or increase shopper costs to take care of this mandate,” Jennifer Barrera, the group’s president, stated in a press release.
The legislation was amongst a number of main labor initiatives within the Legislature this yr, together with proposals to lift the wages of well being care employees and permit legislative staffers to unionize. Newsom already signed a legislation to lift the minimal wage for quick meals employees to $20 an hour. However he vetoed a invoice Saturday that might have given unemployment advantages to putting employees, saying the fund the state would use is approaching almost $20 billion in debt.
The United Meals and Business Employees Western States Council, which supported the sick day laws, stated the legislation will assist forestall the unfold of lethal illnesses.
“5 paid sick days is a step in the appropriate route and employees might be much less doubtless compelled to threat their livelihoods to do the appropriate factor and keep dwelling after they’re sick due to this invoice,” Andrea Zinder, president of the group’s Native 324 chapter, stated in a press release.
Newsom additionally signed a legislation Wednesday to ban native authorities from manually counting ballots normally, a direct response to a rural Northern California county’s plan to cease utilizing machines to rely votes.
Shasta County’s board of supervisors, managed by a conservative majority, voted earlier this yr to finish its contract with Dominion Voting Programs, an organization that has been topic to unfounded allegations of fraud pushed by former Republican President Donald Trump and his allies. County leaders stated there was a lack of public confidence within the firm’s machines.
On the time, native leaders didn’t have a plan for a way the county would conduct future elections for its 111,000 registered voters. The county had been making ready to rely ballots by hand for its subsequent election on Nov. 7, 2023, to fill seats on the college board and fireplace district board and resolve the destiny of two poll measures.
The brand new legislation, which takes impact instantly, halts Shasta County officers’ plans. The one exceptions below the legislation are for commonly scheduled elections with fewer than 1,000 eligible registered voters and particular elections the place there are fewer than 5,000 eligible voters.
Assemblymember Gail Pellerin, a Democrat from Santa Cruz who authored the legislation and is a former native elections official, stated the legislation creates needed guardrails round elections. The legislation additionally requires native authorities use state-certified voting machines.
The laws “ensures that no California voter might be disenfranchised by the actions and choices of ill-informed political actors,” she stated in a press release.
The laws has divided the agricultural county. Shasta County Clerk Cathy Darling Allen, a Democrat, known as the legislation a “commonsense safety for all California voters.”
Regardless of the county eliminating its Dominion voting machines, native leaders gave her permission to buy gear wanted to adjust to federal legal guidelines for voters with disabilities. The system that was bought, made by Hart InterCivic, consists of scanners able to tabulating votes electronically. The gear might be used to tabulate votes in upcoming elections, Darling Allen stated.
Shasta County Board of Supervisors chair Patrick Henry Jones instructed The Related Press in September the county would sue to dam the legislation, including that state officers “can not assure that these machines haven’t been manipulated.” Jones didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Newsom signing the invoice into legislation.
Whereas hand counts of ballots happen in elements of the USA, this sometimes occurs in small jurisdictions with small numbers of registered voters. Hand counts, nevertheless, are generally used as a part of post-election assessments to examine that machines are counting ballots appropriately, however solely a small portion of the ballots are counted manually.
Sophie Austin is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points. Observe Austin on X, the platform previously referred to as Twitter: @sophieadanna