Earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved six weeks of fully-paid leave for new parents, the first city-wide legislation of its kind in the nation. Parents are entitled to the benefit if they have been employed by the employer for at least 180 days, work at least eight hours per week within the city or county of San Francisco, spend at least 40% of their hours per week working within the city or county of San Francisco, and are eligible to receive paid family leave from the State of California under the California Paid Family Leave law for the purpose of bonding with a new child. The new law requires that employers make up the difference between the benefit provided by the California Paid Family Leave law and 100% of the employee’s normal gross weekly wage.
Under California’s Paid Family Leave law, which was the first state-wide law of its kind when enacted over a decade ago, employees who contribute to the State Disability Insurance fund can receive 55% of their pay for six weeks following the birth or adoption of a child, placement of a child in foster care, or to care for a seriously ill family member. The Disability Insurance Program funds the payment of wages under California’s law. On April 11, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will increase leave under California’s Paid Family Leave from 55% to 60% or 70%, depending on the employee’s income, effective in January 2018.
Other than California, only New Jersey and Rhode Island mandate paid parental leave, but neither do so at full pay. Like in California, the funds come from public insurance systems. Recently, New York approved legislation calling for partial pay for up to 12 weeks of leave.
Once enacted, businesses with 50 or more workers must comply with San Francisco’s law by January 2017, those with 35 to 49 by July 2017, and those with 20 to 34 by January 2018.