California puts the modern family in paid family leave law

California just made it easier for families to care for each other - by recognizing just how different each family can be. Photo: Moogan/Flickr Creative Commons

California just made it easier for families to care for each other – by recognizing just how different each family can be. (Photo: Moogan/Flickr Creative Commons)

Before October 1st California employees could only take paid family leave for a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, child or parent. Of course, the reality is that a modern family’ often includes extended family members.

Now, California can celebrate being on the forefront of paid family leave legislation yet again: By signing SB 770 into law, California Governor Jerry Brown has expanded paid family leave coverage to include sick siblings, grandchildren, grandparents and parents-in-law.

California’s program provides up to six-weeks of partial wage replacement to workers, funded via the State Disability Insurance (SDI) system. Numerous studies show that for a vast majority of employers, paid family leave has either had a positive effect (or no noticeable effect) on business profitability, productive and employee morale.

The paid family leave expansion had broad bi-partisan support, and was backed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Retired People and the California Work and Family Coalition.

“The governor signed SB 770 so that workers can care for extended family members without jeopardizing their economic well-being,” said Jim Evans, a spokesman for Brown.

It’s time for Washington legislators to set their own example and prioritize the well-being of our families by implementing and expanding our own Family Medical Leave Act this upcoming legislative session.

You can read more about our work on this policy issue and get Washington updates here.

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