AB 3216 (Kalra) - A Bill Extending Job Protection and Paid Sick Days to Workers in Health Emergencies Passes the State Assembly

Assemblymember Ash Kalra on the Assembly Floor in the Capitol. June 18, 2020.

Oakland, CA—The California Work & Family Coalition commends the California Assembly for passing AB 3216 (Kalra). We are celebrating this win which brings workers closer to having the protections they need to get through this pandemic and future public health emergencies.

Paid sick days, job protection, and right of recall for workers would help the economy bounce back as we cautiously re-open businesses. It would also help workers to stay home when sick in order to stop the spread of the virus in the future. Without these protections, workers are faced with the impossible decision of losing their paycheck by staying home, or going to work sick, which puts the health of other workers and customers at risk.

Sharad Jain, MD, a primary care physician from the Sacramento County Health Center, who co-wrote an op-ed in support of AB 3216, stated, “Insufficient job protections and a lack of paid sick days are an often under-recognized factor that adversely affect the health of many of our patients.”

“This was a great and hard-won victory for workers across the state,” said Jenya Cassidy, Director of the California Work & Family Coalition, a bill co-sponsor. “We’ve been in meetings with legislators hearing from their constituents—an airport worker who was just furloughed and needs to return to the same job when things open up to support himself and his family; a mother with a daughter who is immuno-compromised and fears returning to work without paid sick days or job protected leave; a restaurant worker who had to facetime his dying grandmother at work because his boss wouldn’t give him a paid sick day, and he couldn’t afford to take it unpaid. This bill fills a crucial need—basic support for workers in health emergencies like this pandemic.”

Maria Moreno, a community organizer at the Restaurant Opportunities Center of the Bay Area, says “Thank you to the Assembly for getting us one step closer to keeping us food service workers and our families safer as we move through this pandemic.” 

Joining the California Work & Family Coalition in support of AB 3216 are 34 organizations, including labor unions, worker rights attorneys, religious organizations, breastfeeding organizations, and pro-choice advocates.

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June 18, 2020

CONTACT: Mia Hemstad, mia@workfamilyca.org


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