Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 770 that will expand the scope of California’s family temporary disability program to adapt to the modern family dynamic that is emerging in the workforce.  Due to the increase in the number of single parents, as well as the increase in participation of both parents in the workforce, the bill responds to workers’ needs to care for their ailing family members. 

Previously, “family care leave” encompassed only caring for a child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner.  After July 1, 2014, the expanded definition allows an employee to take leave to care for a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or mother or father-in-law.  The law still provides up to six weeks of family temporary disability insurance benefits for any 12-month period.

The expansion will amend sections 2708, 3300, 3301, 3302, and 3303 of California’s Unemployment Insurance Code.  Employers should review their policies to ensure compliance with the new law by July 1, 2014.