California Paid Family Leave Act Gets Better!

The California Paid Family Leave Act (CPFLA), enacted in 2002, has provided that if an employee contributes to SDI (State Disability Insurance Fund), then he/she can apply for up to six (6) weeks of paid time off to take care of an ill family member or bond with a new child. The law provided for a waiting period of seven (7) days before this money could be tapped, and it also provided that an employee would get no more than 55% of gross weekly wages—about the same as SDI and Worker’s Comp.

The law has now been amended in many ways, two of which stand out:

1- Instead of 55% of gross weekly wages as a maximum benefit, it has been bumped up to 60% if a worker earns more than 1/3 of the California average weekly wage (with a minimum of $50 a week), and to 70% if he/she earns less than this benchmark.

2- The seven (7) day waiting day is GONE. The new law provides that these benefits can begin on the first day of a paid leave.

There are other changes, but these are the two important ones. From now on, if a leave is necessary to take care of an ill family member or to bond with a new child, this law should be considered so that while the FMLA or CFRA protects health care insurance and the right to return to a job, this law can provide some pay.

By Bill Sokol | April 22, 2016

Legal Developments