By Alex Bazzi Staff Reporter SAN DIEGO, Calif.
(Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Wednesday that requires employers to offer workers a paid sick leave, allowing them to work until the end of their paid workweeks if they can’t afford it or can’t find another job.
The law goes into effect in 2018.
The measure was supported by the United States Conference of Mayors, which represents more than a million businesses in the Golden State.
The state of California is the largest employer of workers in the United Sates.
It is the first statewide law requiring paid sick days.
The bill also allows employers to give up to 30 days of paid vacation a year to workers who are injured or sick.
Brown has been a strong supporter of paid sick time for workers, and he has said he wants to see California adopt it.
But in the past year he has expressed reservations about requiring paid leave for sick workers.
In April, the governor said he supported the idea of requiring paid time off for employees who need it but said the legislature should consider other ideas for paid sick or parental leave.
California has a long history of encouraging people to take time off from work, often to help with caring for loved ones.
The first paid paid sick and vacation leave was instituted in the state in 1935 and was expanded in 1966.
More than half of the state’s workforce works in California, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
California’s law covers only employees and employers with 50 or more employees.
California is the third state to require paid sick leaves for workers.
In January, a bill in New York became the first state to mandate paid sick, parental and vacation time.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to expand the program to other states, such as Connecticut, Maryland and Washington.
California lawmakers have approved several bills to make paid sick hours mandatory in the last few years, but the issue has yet to pass the state legislature.