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  • Couple Discussing Whether They Can Afford Family Leave

    This is the second post in a four-part series on California’s parental and family care leave laws.

    Last week, I identified the main barriers that prevent workers from taking time off to bond with new babies and care for sick relatives. In that post, I discussed the first barrier—lack of job protection—and covered some of the laws that offer job protections to California employees as well as avenues to expand them. This post discusses the second barrier that prevents employees taking time off from work to care for their child or for another family member: that they cannot financially afford to take the time off from work.

    We have crafted laws that allow for workers to take unpaid leave for caregiving, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). However, many people who have the option of taking job-protected leave cannot do so because of the financial strain caused by unpaid leave.

    What good is job-protected leave if you can’t afford to take it? . . .

  • pregnant worker contemplating her leave

    Will you take family leave?

    California moms: did you know that the majority of you may be eligible for nearly seven months of job-protected time off related to the birth of your child?[1] Did you know that most of your time off would be partially paid—with wage replacement of about 55% of your pay, up to $1067 per week—through California’s Employment Development Department (EDD)?[2]

    Dads: did you know that most of you are eligible for 12 weeks of job-protected leave to bond with your new baby? Did you know that you can take that time off any time within the first year, including in increments? Did you know that up to six weeks of that time would be paid through EDD’s Paid Family Leave program (also 55% of pay up to $1067)?

    Moms and dads: Knowing that, will you take the maximum job-protected leave allowed to you? No? How about the maximum amount of leave that is paid? Why not?

    I have asked dozens of new parents these questions. . . .

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