Fighting for Women's Equality

Stronger CA Win: Paid Family Leave Expansion

April 13, 2016 | by

On April 11, California took another important step forward to ensuring the economic security of women and families. Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 908 into law, expanding the state’s paid family leave program.

While California became the first state to guarantee paid family leave for workers in 2002, the law’s wage replacement rate hovered at just 55%, too low for many workers to afford to take leave. AB 908 increases the wage replacement provided during a worker’s six weeks of paid leave to 60 or 70%, depending on the worker’s income.

“No parent should have to choose between earning an income and caring for a family member in need,” said Stronger California Advocates Network chair Noreen Farrell. “Increasing the amount of wages families who take paid leave will receive ensures that low- and middle-income people can take advantage of California’s paid family leave law. AB 908 strengthens the country’s first paid family leave law and the Stronger California Advocates Network will continue to push California to lead the nation on family-friendly policies.”

This expansion is an important step toward ensuring that all workers can afford to take time off to care for newborns and family members. AB 908 was authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and was a lead bill in the family-friendly workplaces pillar of the Stronger California Legislative Agenda, which is a comprehensive platform of policy initiatives to improve the economic security of women and families in the state. The family-friendly workplaces pillar of the Agenda is led by the California Work & Family Coalition. 

The Stronger California Advocates Network is a historic collaboration of advocate coalitions driving policy reform across four pillars critical to the economic security of women and families, addressing (1) poverty, (2) childcare, (3) fair pay and job opportunities, and (4) family friendly workplaces. Learn more at strongercalifornia.org. You can also support other 2016 Stronger California bills.

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