California Celebrates 10 Years of Paid Family Leave

California is celebrating 10 years of its Paid Family Leave Program since the law went into effect in July of 2004. According to a recent analysis, the number of families taking advantage of the law has continued to rise and the majority of the shift involves fathers who are taking time off to care for and be with their newborns. Under California law, women can take up to 12 weeks of paid disability after birth. Since 2004, both men and women are allowed take up to 6 weeks of paid family leave after child birth. California is one of only a few states that offers paid family leave for both men and women. The state funds the program using the worker State Disability (SDI) contributions. Workers can also pay into a voluntary plan, meaning that employers do not have to absorb the costs of the program.

family-time-983340-mWhether you have already benefited from the paid family leave program or you are considering paid family leave in the future it is important to know your rights. Our Orange County employment law and pregnancy discrimination lawyers are experienced in protecting the rights of our clients facing legal challenges. In addition to providing strategic counsel and advocacy, we are committed to staying abreast of laws and legislative developments throughout California. Our priority is to help employees preserve and assert their rights in cases involving wage and hour disputes, pregnancy discrimination, and other employment law matters.

Historically, a mother would take off work to take care of her child and a father may use a few sick days before heading back to work. For 10 years, the California Paid Family Leave program has allowed millions of families to remain at home, with pay, and without concern of losing their job. According to reports, there were 135,000 Californians using the program in the first year. Now, approximately 190,000 Californians are using the program to care for their newborns post-birth and of that number 60,000 participants were men.

The legal protection gave both men and women the opportunity to have work-life balance. The Paid Family Leave program allows both parents to be involved with their families, allowing fathers and others to receive up to 55% of their weekly earnings for six weeks the year following the birth of a child. While the program allows workers to use the program to care for an ailing parent or relative, the majority of participants use the program to care for a newborn. In many cases, the six weeks back to back gives the mother time to care for a newborn, and then the father to take over while a mother returns to work. This gives the family an extended period of time to have at least one parent home with the newborn.

Researchers have found that men who bond with their babies at an early age are more likely to have a close relationship with their children. The Paid Family Leave program in California is one way to help make sure that fathers have equal parenting rights and the ability to pursue this opportunity with financial support from the state.

Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 949.375.4734.

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