Today Governor Brown was joined by members of the California Legislative Women's Caucus to sign a package of 8 bills designed to benefit women, children and families. Among the bills supported or sponsored by the LWC, the Governor signed SB 63, authored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Women, Work and Families.
Senate Bill 63 will provide 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave for employees who work for companies with 20 to 49 employees, thereby creating a new protected class of employee.
Existing law provides that the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), required to be taken concurrently, entitles eligible workers of employers with 50 or more employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period for family and medical reasons, including time to bond with a new child through birth, adoption or foster care placement, among others; guaranteed reinstatement to the same or comparable position; continued group health coverage during the duration of the leave.
SB 63 enacts the New Parent Leave Act which makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to allow an employee with more than 12 months and at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer, and who works at a worksite in which the employer employs at least 20 employees within 75 miles, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.
Specifically, SB 63 makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, of 20 or more employees, to refuse to allow an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks of job protected parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. This bill also prohibits an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for the employee’s continued group health coverage during the duration of the leave.
SB 63 also does the following: (1) authorizes an employer to recover the premium that the employer paid for maintaining group health care coverage during the duration of the leave should the employee fail to return to work after the leave, as specified; (2) clarify that when both parents work for the same employer, and are entitled to parental leave for the same child, the employer is not required to grant more than the 12-week leave, as specified; (3) create a parental leave mediation pilot program to cover the provisions of this bill, as specified, to be repealed on January 1, 2020; and (4) clarify how the provisions of this bill and existing regulations interpreting the California Family Rights Act are to be incorporated.
For more info on SB 63 and the 8 bills signed by the Governor, please use this link: