Feeling sick? Three-day paid leave remains the status quo

an illustration of a person sneezing

A proposal that would have extended an employee’s paid sick leave from three days to five has been  quarantined.

AB 555, by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, would have built upon a 2014 law she authored guaranteeing at least three days. “We knew when we passed the paid sick leave law that three days wouldn’t be enough but was a great start,” she said in a statement this year.

Los Angeles and several Bay Area cities—and seven other states—are among those who now require employers to provide more paid sick leave.

Supporters, including labor unions, said expanding paid sick leave would allow employees to fully recover from an illness and decrease the likelihood of making a coworker sick. The home care workers union argued that it would help keep their clients, many of whom are more susceptible to illness, from getting sick by an employee.

But opponents, including the California Chamber of Commerce, argued that businesses already give employees plenty of paid leave. They pointed to the Paid Family Leave Program, which allows employees to receive up to 6 weeks of partially-paid family leave. Gov. Gavin Newsom has also proposed an expansion.

—Elizabeth Castillo