In our blog last week on San Francisco’s fully paid parental leave law, we briefly mentioned a very recent California bill that will change existing paid leaves policies. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will boost benefits received during paid leave from 55 percent of pay to 60 to 70 percent of pay.
Once the law takes effect on January 1st, 2018, workers earning up to $108,000 annually will receive 60 percent of their pay while on parental or family leave. Workers who make close to minimum wage will receive 70 percent pay.
The United States remains one of only two countries in the world that does not offer universal paid family leave. However, California, San Francisco and several tech companies based in Silicon Valley have made significant progress in establishing paid leave policies (Facebook, Google and Netflix to name a few). The idea that new parents should have time to spend with their children has been embraced by our state.
In other areas of the US, new parents are not quite as lucky. Millions of workers across the country are simply unable to take the time off, as it would negatively impact their ability to pay for mortgages, apartment leases, vehicles, student loans, credit card bills, health care and other monthly expenses.
How California’s Paid Family Leave Law Will Help Workers
California’s new paid family leave program offers workers six weeks of pay at 60 to 70 percent of their wages. This means when workers have children or must take care of sick family members, they can worry less over the state of their finances.
We have also written blogs about how paid parental leave can help improve the health of both babies and parents. Not only is paid family leave beneficial for the finances of workers, but for the health of their children.
California could possibly set an example for other states, and may be seen historically as the state that finally got the ball rolling on federal paid leave policies.
The Los Angeles labor law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. have years of experience helping workers affected by pregnancy discrimination.