Proposed state bill AB 1522 would mandate employers to give hourly workers three paid sick days a year.
"About ¾ of hourly workers in our state don't have any paid sick time off," Assm. Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said.
Gonzalez authored the controversial bill that would let workers accrue sick days. According to the bill, employees would be able to get at least one hour for every 30 hours worked.
When sick employees feel pressured to work, supporters of the measure claim it spreads their illness around the workplace, potentially making others sick.
"We know it's important that when people are faced with a sickness that they should have the ability to stay home or if it's a working parent who has to take care o their child, they should have the ability as well," Gonzalez said.
Sheila Garcia has been waitress at Nishiki Sushi restaurant for the past three years. During that period, she's gotten sick several times but she's only actually called in sick once.
"It's really hard to call in sick, I have bills to pay," Garcia said.
Like many in her shoes, Garcia said she would rather put in the hours.
"I'd rather work and suit up than miss out on what I can potentially be making," Garcia explained.
But this isn't the first time a bill like this has been introduced. In 2011, a similar version was axed after facing opposition from chamber groups and small business associations.
"It just places a new, cost-pressure on small businesses that are already struggling to survive," National Federation of Independent Business's Ken DeVore said.
The NFIB publicly opposes the bill, saying it would drive up costs for businesses and ultimately hurt workers.
"The more mandates you put on employers, the more cautious they are about hiring, and the more they have to reserve resources," DeVore said.
The California Chamber of Commerce is reviewing the legislation and plans to announce its position in a couple of days.