Quarantined Workers Would Be Protected from Retaliation under Proposed California Law

Quarantined Workers Would Be Protected from Retaliation under Proposed California Law

A proposed California law would protect workers from retaliation if they are required to stay home during public health emergencies such as the coronavirus.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, announced the proposal Thursday, a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over coronavirus.

A patient who had traveled on a cruise ship died Wednesday in Placer County and at least 53 people have tested positive for the virus in the state. About 9,400 people who have flown internationally are being monitored, Newsom said.

Gonzalez’s legislation, Assembly Bill 3123, would protect workers who must stay home due to a public official ordering their workplace closed. It also would protect workers who have to take care of children whose schools have been closed.

Existing law protects workers from retaliation for using their sick leave. The proposed law would add protection for people who are out of sick days or don’t get them.

“Workers shouldn’t be fired if they miss work because they’ve been quarantined or isolated due to a public health emergency like the coronavirus,” Gonzalez said in a news release. “We need to support workers so they can take every action necessary to prevent the spreading of this disease.”

The bill protects the workers from retaliation or discrimination and ensures they can use their earned sick leave, according to the release.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

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