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New Proposal Would Give L.A. Workers Six Paid Sick Days Annually

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Los Angeles City Council during a 2010 vote. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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After a vote Tuesday, Angelenos are one step closer being guaranteed six paid sick days annually. The City Council’s economic development committee voted unanimously to recommend the adoption of an expanded sick days ordinance. The proposed ordinance, which would double the number of annual paid sick days employers are already mandated to provide under state law, will come before the full council for a vote sometime this month. Discussion of expanding sick days played a role in last year's minimum wage hearings, but the city opted to separate the issues and put sick day legislation on hold until after the minimum wage ordinance had passed.

Raise the Wage—a coalition of business, labor and community organizations that played a pivotal role in passing L.A.'s minimum wage ordinance—has been advocating for increased sick days since 2014. The coalition has pushed for legislation that will move L.A. beyond the recently implemented state requirement of three annual sick days to guarantee workers more sick time, similar to what has already been adopted by Santa Monica, San Francisco, and Oakland. They also pushed to strengthen enforcement and be inclusive of LGBT families.

Community leaders applauded Tuesday's vote, which not only recommended an expanded sick day ordinance but also directed the City Council to expand the final ordinance protections to include affinity based family (such as LGBT families) and suggested that the city's recently created wage enforcement bureau be responsible for enforcing the new provisions.

“We are gratified that the Economic Development Committee recommended a more inclusive, strong policy that will improve the health of L.A.’s working families and the public,” Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and a co-convener of the Raise the Wage Campaign said in a press release.