The United States is only one of two countries in the world that does not have federal paid parental leave laws for workers. To make up for this shortcoming, some cities have adopted or explored fully paid parental leave.
San Francisco just became the first city in the United states to offer fully paid parental leave for both public and private sector workers. This new policy comes at a time when major Silicon Valley companies are offering some of the best parental leave policies in the country to employees. California has quickly become the center of attention for the national debate over parental leave.
Why is San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Law Special?
How will the new law work? Starting in January, 2017, San Francisco businesses with 50 or more workers must allow up to six weeks of fully paid parental leave. Six months later in July, 2017, businesses with 35 or more employees must follow the law. In January, 2018, the law will be fully implemented, and businesses with 20 or more employees are expected to comply.
Another fascinating aspect of this law is that it does not discriminate against same-sex couples with children. In many ways, San Francisco’s new policy is revolutionary and very far ahead of its time.
Last week, California passed a paid leave law that will pay 60 to 70 percent of wages depending on income. California’s new paid leave law will work in conjunction with San Francisco’s law. San Francisco’s new law will require employers to pick up the remaining 40 to 30 percent so workers receive 100 percent of wages.
If San Francisco’s paid parental leave law is successful and widely praised, we can expect similar ideas to spread to other major cities across the country. More single parents are working now than ever before. It is unreasonable to expect these workers to pay out of pocket while on maternity leave, especially in a pricey city like San Francisco.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob have years of experience helping workers who have been wrongfully terminated for requesting or taking parental leave.