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Law Authored by Jackson to Strengthen Paid Family Leave Takes Effect

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

A law authored by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to strengthen California’s Paid Family Leave Program by allowing workers to receive benefits while also caring for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and in-laws took effect on July 1.

July 1 also marks the 10-year anniversary of the implementation of the Paid Family Leave Program. A decade ago, California became the first state in the nation to enact a program to provide partial pay to workers – funded entirely by employee payroll deductions – to take up to six weeks off to bond with a new child or provide care for a seriously ill family member.

According to a report released today from the California Senate Office of Research, 1.8 million claims for Paid Family Leave have been filed over the past decade, with an increasing number of men using the program to bond with a new child.

“A decade ago, our state boldly took the step of being the first in the nation to offer what I believe should be the right of all our citizens – the right to care for their close family members for a period of time without jeopardizing their livelihoods or economic well-being, “ Jackson said. “Over 10 years, particularly as we’ve seen a growth in two-income families, this law has been a valuable way to balance work and caregiving responsibilities.”

Funded entirely by employee payroll deductions through an expansion of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) system, Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement benefits per year. It compensates workers through money they’ve set aside in their paychecks for caregiving responsibilities.

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