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article imageEmployees working holidays to be paid double if CA bill passes

By Megan Hamilton     Nov 28, 2014 in Politics
Sacramento - Workers in California who work on Thanksgiving and Christmas may get a bit of financial relief if a California lawmaker has her way. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez plans to introduce a bill doubling the pay of employees who work on the two holidays.
"I've watched how the retailers and restaurateurs continue to expand their hours and open up on these holidays that are traditionally family holidays," Gonzalez said, according to The Washington Post. "What people are being called in to do now is a real slap in the face of family values, frankly."
Her mother worked as a nurse and was sometimes called in on holidays, so Gonzales (D-San Diego) said she knows that some employees have to work 365 days a year. Police departments and hospitals are indispensable services that have to stay open daily. But this isn't so for restaurants and retailers.
"This is not life and death," Gonzalez said. "This is consumerism."
Last year, Gonzalez successfully championed legislation that gave California employees up to three days a year of paid sick leave, The Sacramento Bee reports. This did, however, anger a prominent union and it nearly split the Democratic caucus because a sizeable chunk of the legislation had been cut.
The California Chamber of Commerce was opposed to the sick-leave bill, but the influential organization removed the "job killer" tag it had added to the legislation. The chamber declined comment on the holiday pay bill since the legislation hasn't been introduced, The Bee reports.
If the bill passes as is, it will apply to full-time and part-time employees whether they work at large businesses or small ones, U-T San Diego reports.
"There are millions of workers who have been forced to work on what have been traditional holidays," Gonzalez said during a news conference outside a Walmart store in San Diego. "Somebody has to stand up and say: 'You have to be compensated fairly.'"
Currently the bill only affects Thanksgiving and Christmas, but a spokesman for Gonzalez said that additional holidays could be considered in the future. Employers compel workers to show up more often on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Gonzalez said this is why she chose these holidays.
More about employees working holidays, Double, california chamber of commerce, Thanksgiving, Christmas
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