Research/studies State laws

Millions in California lack paid sick days: study

Washington – Almost 7 million workers in California have no access to paid sick days, according to a report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The occupations least likely to include paid sick days in California are:

  • Farming, fishing and forestry (12 percent)
  • Food preparation and serving (19 percent)
  • Personal care and services (26 percent)
  • Construction and extraction (28 percent)

All told, 44 percent of workers in the state do not have paid sick days.

In addition to showing differences by occupation, IWPR revealed disparities related to race and ethnicity and earnings level, among other factors. Fifty-seven percent of Hispanic workers in California have no paid sick days, according to the report, and the same was true for almost 3 out of 4 low-wage workers.

“These data indicate that California’s workers who are least able to lose pay when they are sick are also the least likely to have employer-provided paid sick days,” Jeff Hayes, IWPR study director, said in a press release. “Paid sick days give workers the ability to seek health services or stay home with sick children or other family members, helping reduce the spread of illness in schools and workplaces.”