CA Lawmakers: Paid Sick Leave Benefit too Costly

August 8, 2008 ( - A California bill that would force employers to provide paid sick leave for workers died Thursday amid business lobbyists' opposition and lawmakers' concern that the benefit was too costly, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The bill, SB 2716, would have granted employees of small companies in California up to five days of paid sick leave each year, and workers at larger firms could take up to nine days a year. The Senate Appropriations Committee stalled its progress because it was too expensive, the news report said.

Small businesses and their lobbyists fought the sick-leave measure, estimating that the bill would cost 370,000 jobs in California and would cost employers $4.6 billion over a five-year period.

The bill “unfairly presumed that small-business owners are able to provide paid sick leave and don’t want to,” said John Kabeteck, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, in the news report. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that many want to but simply can’t afford it.”