Report: Increase in Paid Family Leave in California

According to a recent news feature from Benefits News, a new labor law taking effect in 2018 will increase the amount of pay for family leave based upon a percentage of their average weekly wages during normal (not overtime) working hours.

pregnancy2The state employment law will provide California’s workers with six week of paid family leave, and this will be administered through a state unemployment provision of the labor code.  While this may sound confusing, Governor Jerry Brown signed Bill 908 into law that will require workers in California to have 55 percent of their average weekly wages paid for up to six weeks a year if that employee decided to take the up to six weeks of family leave to which all workers are entitled each year.

Family leave (also known as family medical leave in the federal code) can be used to care for a sick family member, or to spend time with a minor child, so long as the leave is taken within one year of the birth of the child.  This is not just for caring for a young child, but also for taking the time to bond with a newborn child. An employee can also take this paid family leave after adopting a young child, so it is does not only apply to biological children.

While the law goes into effect now, it will gradually increase to 70 percent for California employees in 2018.  There are obviously requirements for the employee to have essentially paid into he system by earning a certain amount of money prior to becoming eligible to receive the benefits.

Obviously, as one might expect, a person could not start working for a company and then a week later ask for six weeks of paid vacation under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of the state of California.  However, if an employee has earned at least $300, he or she may be eligible to take the family leave if that $300 was earned during the prior 12 months before applying for paid family leave.

While laws such as these can be very helpful to employees who are trying to have a family and take care of that family, there are many unscrupulous employers who have no trouble violating these laws and denying hard working employees the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.  If you feel your employer is not providing you with the benefits to which you are entitled under state or federal law, you should contact an Orange County employment lawyer as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim and make sure you are not being taken advantage of by your employer.

It is also important to understand that your employer may make it seem like you will get in trouble for seeking legal help when he or she is denying you access to your proper benefits.  This type of intimidation is illegal, and any retaliatory action he or she takes against you if you do speak with an attorney and file a claim or lawsuit is also illegal and can be the basis for additional recovery from your employer.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Paid family leave increasing in Calif., San Francisco sees further top-up, April 21, 2016, EBN, by Sheryl Smolkin

More Blog Entries:

Top 5 Areas the EEOC is Pursuing Litigation to Protect Workers, Jan. 15, 2016, Orange County gender discrimination attorney blog