New Senate Bills introduced that would expand existing California family leave legislation

Family leave requirements are slated to improve for California workers after Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, amended and reintroduced bills that Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed last year.

Under current legislation, workers are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave to care for seriously ill family members. Jackson’s Senate Bill (SB) 62 would expand the definition of family members to include grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, adult child or domestic partner. The proposed legislation would also extend family leave protections to small companies.

Currently, family leave legislation only requires companies of 50 or more employees to comply with the legally-required 12 weeks unpaid maternity and paternity leave. Under Brown’s veto of a similar bill, small companies were only required to provide six weeks of leave. But, SB 63, The New Parent Leave Act, would require companies of at least 20 employees to comply with this law, as well as make it illegal for companies to discontinue their employees’ health coverage during their leave.

In a statement, Jackson expressed that too many workers are unable to spend time with their newborns or take time to care for their family members. The California Chamber of Commerce labeled previous family leave bills, vetoed by Brown, as “job-killers.” Jackson expressed her hope that the chamber will appreciate that these proposed bills would actually grow business in California.

If you believe that your employer is not providing you with the legally required family leave, you should contact an experienced employment attorney at Strong Advocates. We can assist you in determining your rights and legal options. We are committed to helping you get the justice you deserve.