Assembly Agrees: Health Care Heroes Must Have the Right to Use Their Sick Pay

Press Contact:
Mike Roth, 916.813.1554
Maria Elena Jauregui, Spanish-language, 818.355.5291
May 30, 2023

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in California today applauded members of the State Assembly who stood with nurses and healthcare workers fighting for time off to recover from illness or care for loved ones. The bill, AB 1359, authored by Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo (D-Santa Clarita), protects healthcare workers from discipline or termination for using up to seven days of their accrued sick leave. Current law protects only three days of sick leave, far below the number of days most healthcare workers need to recover from illness, care for loved ones, or to simply take a break from the extremely stressful conditions under which they work.

“In spite of their heroic and life-saving work during the pandemic, nurses and health care workers are still fighting for the most basic rights in their workplaces. Some have been disciplined or even fired just for using paid time off they’ve earned beyond the three days guaranteed to all California workers,” said Leo Perez, President of SEIU 121RN and Executive Board Member of SEIU California. “Every worker needs to take time to heal when they are sick or to care for a loved one; for our healthcare workers, staying home means preventing vulnerable patients from infection as well. The Assembly agreed health care workers must be able to heal when they are sick; the State Senate and Governor should follow suit.”

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