Time flies quickly after a new member of the family arrives in your household. Both mothers and fathers need time to bond and care for a newborn child—something that is difficult to do while also trying to earn a living. Thankfully, parents in California will shortly be able to receive up to 70 percent of their regular paychecks while caring for a new baby at home.
California State and City Laws Allow Paid Maternity Leave
There are a variety of laws that can protect employees taking leave depending on where they live. For example, there are statutes protecting workers in:
California became the first state in the nation to create an insurance program for paid family leave in 2004. All employees who contribute to the California State Disability Insurance fund are entitled to six weeks of partial pay per year during a leave of absence needed to bond with a newborn baby, newly adopted child, or a new foster child. Californians can currently draw 55 percent of their weekly wages during this leave of absence, but that will increase to 70 percent starting on January 1, 2018.
Earlier this year, the City of San Francisco made history by passing a law to grant fully paid parental leave to new parents. The law is the first city-wide statute of its kind, and requires companies with 50 or more employees to supplement the pay provided to workers under the state’s Paid Family Leave benefits, allowing the employee to draw 100 percent of his or her pay while on leave. The city law applies to full-time workers, as well as some part-time and temporary employees. Over time, the law will apply to smaller and smaller companies, with employers of 35 or more workers expected to comply by July 1, 2017 and those employing 20 or more workers required to comply by January 1, 2018.
The United States:
Federal law protects workers from losing their jobs or suffering retaliation after taking leave to care for a new child or ailing family member. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles U.S. workers up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth, care, or bonding of a newborn or foster child. Although there is no right to receive pay during this leave, workers do not suffer any interruption in their group health insurance benefits while on leave.
Some employers offer paid maternity leave as an incentive to workers, although the terms of the leave vary with employment. If you were denied pay for family leave, you could have a valid wage and hour claim. Please feel free to use our website to learn more about your case.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.