Tuesday, April 12, 2016

CALIFORNIA - Family Leave

"BROWN SIGNS MEASURE EXPANDING FAMILY LEAVE" by Patrick McGreevy, San Diego Union-Tribune 4/12/2016

NOTE:  This is from the online edition of the newspaper, therefore no link to article.


Some workers eligible for 70% of their wages for up to six weeks

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a significant increase in family leave benefits for Californians, marking the latest in a series of legislative actions aimed at boosting the fortunes of lower income workers.

Brown, who just last week signed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022, said the family-leave expansion would help ordinary Californians as they grapple with new children and family health issues that take them away from work.

The action comes 15 years after California became the first state to guarantee workers paid time off to care for a new child or ailing family member.

California’s program provides workers— men and women— with 55 percent of their wages for up to six weeks.

The new law will allow people earning close to minimum wage to be paid 70 percent of their salary while on leave, while workers with higher pay, up to $108,000 annually, will receive 60 percent of their salary during leave.

The same increases in benefits approved for paid family leave also will apply to people enrolled in the state’s Disability Insurance program.  The change takes effect in 2018 and could affect more than 13 million Californians.

Brown on Monday touted a list of accomplishments to apply what he called “a sense of empathy” to economic inequality, including the minimum wage, a new formula to help school districts with large numbers of disadvantaged students, and a 2014 law that provides paid sick days to roughly 40 percent of the state’s workforce, people who previously did not receive that benefit.

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