LOS ANGELES (KABC) --The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 Tuesday to tentatively approve a proposal that would require employers in the city to offer at least six days of paid sick leave per year to workers.
The amount is twice what the state requires for employees and would be offered to those who've worked at least 30 days within a year.
Leave can be carried over to the next year, and employers could cap rollover accrual at nine days, according to the proposal.
Activists such as Marta Sanchez said the measure would have helped her family when her husband became ill.
"He had to go to the hospital to have surgery, and the process took like 30 days to recover, to close the skin and everything, and it was really awful for us to not have a salary for 30 days," Sanchez recalled.
Employers argue that this requirement would hurt small businesses, because it would force them to essentially pay two workers if one calls in sick and another employee is needed.
"The increase in the minimum wage the city enacted last year will begin in just a few months, this will have a big impact and a big burden on our local businesses," John Howland with the Central City Association said. "This increase in the number of sick days will also have an impact."
The council created a one year exemption for small businesses that have less than 25 employees.
"We have to always consider that the store on the corner is not the same as Walmart. Their ability to absorb these costs is not as great and their money is going to have to come from somewhere," Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said.
Following Tuesday's vote, the proposal will be written into a draft and returned for another round of discussion and votes before May.
This would be required in order to have the plan go into effect by July 1.