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City Council Votes To Give Angelenos Six Paid Sick Days A Year

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The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved a proposal to guarantee L.A. workers at least six paid sick days annually on Tuesday. The city's Economic Development Committee voted unanimously last week to recommend that the council adopt the ordinance. The ordinance will return to City Hall for final approval after it's drafted by the City Attorney. Raise the Wage, a coalition of business, labor and community organizations, has been advocating for an expanded sick day policy since 2014. California law currently requires employers to guarantee workers a total of three annual sick days. A number of cities including Santa Monica, San Francisco and Oakland have already passed their own local measures to expand the state's required coverage.

L.A.'s ordinance will include a provision guaranteeing the rights of LGBT families, and enforcement will be handled by the city’s wage enforcement bureau, ensuring that anyone penalized for attempting to take sick time will have expedited, local protections.Community groups and labor leaders celebrated the Council's vote as a victory for working families across the city.

“Every day, we deal with patients who come in with health problems that have blown out of proportion from not having sufficient paid sick days,” Dr. Rodney Samaan, Medical Director and MD, MPH, Clinica Romero said in a statement. “That is because these residents can’t come in sooner when they or their children first have a health problem as they don’t receive enough compensation for being sick. Today is a victory for our patients because we can now help them keep themselves and their families healthy.”

"This policy concludes the process that LA City Council began last year with increasing our minimum wage and creating a more equitable City of Angels," Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. said in a statement. A proposal to expand sick days was originally included in discussions leading up to last year's local minimum wage ordinance. According to Councilman Price's office, the city aims to have the policy in place by July 1, when the first of several scheduled minimum wage increases will also go into effect.

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Note: This post was updated to include further statements from Councilman Price's office.