On October 12, 2017, Governor Brown approved a new law that will expand parental leave benefits to employers with 20 or more employees. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Currently, employers with 50 or more employees are required to grant up to 12-weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees who request leave to bond with a newborn child or with a child placed in the employee’s home for foster care or adoption. To be eligible for leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (which do not need to be consecutive), worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the use of leave, and work at a worksite with 50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius.

Under the new law, employers with 20 or more employees will be required to grant up to 12-weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees for bonding purposes. An eligible employee is one who has worked for the employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the use of leave, and who works at a worksite with 20 or more employees in a 75-mile radius.