California workers may be interested to learn that the state has just passed a law requiring sick days for workers. Pursuant to the legislation that was recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, employers must grant employees at least three paid sick days per year. The law will go into effect July 1, 2015. The law excludes home health care workers, but it otherwise applies to all individuals who work more than 30 days per year. Employees are allowed one hour per 30 hours worked, but businesses may use the three days as a cap on the benefit. The new law will apply to businesses of all sizes.

The hope of advocates is that the new law will prevent workers from losing pay due to being ill, although some employers have complained about the cost. San Francisco has had such a law on the books since 2006. The new law will affect more than 60 million workers.

Beginning next year, individuals should be aware that this benefit is available to them as part of their employee rights. Individuals who qualify for this benefit and who are not permitted by their employer to take advantage of it might first try to solve the issue at work. However, it is possible their rights would still be denied, or they might be threatened with retaliation.

In such a case, the individual may wish to consult an attorney. The worker might be eligible for back pay, damages and more. There may also be multiple individuals at a company whose employment rights are being violated in this way, and several of them may wish to bring a suit.

Source: CNN, “California becomes second state with paid sick days“, Katie Lobosco, September 11, 2014