Legislation that would provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected maternity and paternity leave for Californians who work for smaller employers passed the California Senate on September 13 and is now headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. An amended version of the bill, authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), cleared the Senate by a 25-13 vote. The amended measure passed the Assembly on September 12 by a 51-15 ballot.
The New Parent Leave Act, S.B. 63, would provide 12 weeks of job-protected maternity and paternity leave for up to 2.7 million more California parents who work for smaller companies with 20-49 employees. Current law only provides that those who work for an employer of 50 or more are eligible for job-protected leave. That leaves more than 40 percent of California workers in the position of risking job loss if they take advantage of California’s Paid Family Leave Program, which they are already paying into, because they work for smaller employers, according to Jackson.
“Any parent knows that the birth of a child comes with many challenges,” Jackson said in a statement. “But losing a job should not be among them. Ensuring that we have strong maternity and paternity leave policies in place for Californians is an economic issue that affects the health and well-being of millions of California’s children and working families.”
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