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In a Historic Move, L.A. City Council Votes in Paid Sick Days Expansion

In a Historic Move, L.A. City Council Votes in Paid Sick Days Expansion

April 19, 2016

Angelenos Celebrate Historic Victory for Working Families
Los Angeles CA — In the latest step to raise wages and improve the quality of life for working Angelenos, the Los Angeles City Council voted 13 – 1 to increase the number of paid sick days. Upon implementation of the new law, LA workers will have 6 paid sick days. The ordinance includes the right to take paid sick time to care for family and defines family as those related by blood or affinity. The ordinance also includes a mandate to coordinate with the City’s wage enforcement bureau which will ensure expedited, local protections for any workers penalized for taking sick time. Today’s action by City Council makes LA the 26th city and the 32nd location in the US to pass a paid sick days law. This morning, community leaders, health care workers, and LGBTQ activists from the LA Raise the Wage Campaign and the California Work & Family Coalition community held a press conference before the vote on the steps of City Hall urging CitThis y Council support.

City Councilmember Curren Price, Jr., who helped champion the passage of the policy said, “An expansion of paid sick days will support the health and well-being of our hardest working Angelenos. This includes many of my constituents, who will now have new protections to help them get through tough times without having to worry about whether or not they can afford missing work. 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.”

“This is a historic move for LA City Council to take. We applaud Council members and local activists for pushing for an inclusive policy that will improve the health and well-being of Los Angeles workers and their families,” said Jenya Cassidy, Director of the California Work & Family Coalition. “It is important for Los Angeles to take a bold step like this to ignite the growing movement for paid sick days in the US.”

Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Co-convener of the Raise the Wage Coalition said, “With this policy, Los Angeles will now have some of the strongest enforcement language when it comes to protecting the rights of workers who deserve rest and medical treatment when they’re ill.”

Celebrating with hundreds of other community members, Alfred Kpekpe, a parent and homecare worker said, “Before, I would have to make the tough choice of having to call out of work and skip pay to care for myself or my children when we were sick because my employer didn’t give us any sick days. Now with this law, I won’t have to put my finances before my health. I’m thankful that the City Council stood up for our health.”

Melisa Acoba, who runs a health education program at Clinica Romero celebrated the win on behalf of her patients: “There are high rates of chronic disease and late stage cancer diagnosis among our patients. One of the leading reasons our patients delay care is because they cannot get the necessary time off work. This is an important victory for our patients and their family – they won’t have to choose between their own health and putting food on the table,” she said


Since 2014, the Raise the Wage coalition has advocated for L.A. to develop similar paid sick days standards to those adopted by both San Francisco and Oakland. The California Work & Family Coalition is part of a national network of states – Family Values @Work working for Paid Family Leave and paid sick days for all.

Contact: Jenya Cassidy 510-387-4920; jenya@workfamilyca.org



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