The city of San Francisco is poised to become the first in the nation to mandate paid family leave for private-sector employees. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a new city ordinance that would require employers in the city to provide up to six weeks of fully-paid family leave.
California state law already requires that employers provide employees with up to six weeks of partially-paid family leave. Currently, workers on family leave receive 55% of their standard wages, which are paid by the California’s State Disability Insurance program. On April 11, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill which will increase this amount to 70% for workers earning near the minimum wage and 60% for higher paid employees. The law will take effect in 2018.
San Francisco took this idea one step further and will require employers to make up the difference between what the State Disability Insurance program pays and an employee’s full wage. The employer will have to cover whatever the state does not so that the employee receives 100% of his or her pay for six weeks.
In order to use the state’s Paid Family Leave insurance program, an employee must be taking time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. The program allows both new mothers and new fathers to use this act, and the paid time off is taken concurrently with the unpaid leave provided by both the state and federal governments.
In San Francisco, the ordinance will apply to businesses with more than 20 employees. It also applies to both full-time and part-time workers throughout the city. Businesses with more than 35 employees must comply with the ordinance by July 1, 2017, while smaller businesses will have until January of 2018.
The city is following in the footsteps of local tech companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook, which each offer paid parental leave for up to 20 weeks. The Board of Supervisors believes the legislation will be especially helpful for low wage workers who cannot afford to take a pay cut to care for a new baby. To speak with a experienced labor law attorney in Sacramento today, contact us!
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