Every worker in California would be eligible for paid sick leave under a bill approved Wednesday by the state Assembly.
The measure goes to the Senate over the objections of Republicans, who say not all businesses can afford to pay employees for sick time.
The bill by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) passed on a 42-25 vote.
Ma says 5 million Californians now have to work while they are sick or lose pay and risk being fired if they take time off.
Her bill requires larger companies to pay employees for nine sick days each year. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees would have to provide five sick days annually.
Opponents say the measure punishes small businesses.