After amendments and delays to gather enough votes, Senate gave final approval of a bill to extend paid sick leave on Thursday, advancing the measure to the governor.

The Senate approved an amendment that narrows the number of businesses included under the regulation. A previous paid sick leave measure for COVID-19 included businesses with as few as five employees. That has been raised to 25 employees. Sen. Maria Elena Durazo of Los Angeles (above) opposed the change, citing state employment data showing that about 90% of businesses have less than 20 employees, accounting for 4 million workers.

Cal/OSHA passed an emergency standard in November that requires an employer to pay wages to employees exposed to COVID-19 and on sick leave. Senate Bill 95 offers supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave that is reimbursed through payroll tax credits.

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