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  • Family Celebrates 10 years of PFL

    Happy tenth birthday to California’s Paid Family Leave Law! Paid Family Leave (PFL) first went into effect ten years ago today on July 1, 2004. For the past decade, most California workers have been entitled to paid leave when they take time off of work to care for a seriously ill parent, spouse, or child. Coverage was also expanded to cover care for a domestic partner. In addition, parents are entitled to paid leave to bond with a new baby during that first year or to connect with an adopted or foster child.

    With paid family leave, California workers don’t have to choose between caring for a sick loved one and making ends meet. PFL provides for up to six weeks of wage replacement at about 55% of your pay, up to $1067 per week-through California’s Employment Development Department (EDD).

    Today is a special day for PFLL for a second reason: the law, thanks to the passage of SB 770 last year, now provides you with paid leave if you take time off to care for . . . .

  • Dollar on a scale

    In California, we are fortunate to have a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. California’s minimum wage applies to nearly all workers in the State, with limited exceptions. On July 1, 2014, California’s minimum wage will increase to $9.00 an hour. It will increase again to $10 an hour on January 1, 2016.

    I have written before about how important it is to . . .

  • American workers keep falling behind

    As corporate profits soar, American workers’ pay keep falling behind. But the movement to increase the minimum wage for American workers has been gaining momentum. In the past year, six states, including California, have raised their minimum wage. Here in California, the minimum wage will go from the current rate of $8 an hour to $9 an hour on July 2, 2014 and to $10 an hour on January 1, 2016. Now, the movement is getting national attention.

  • No fun to be around a sick coworker

    How many times have you heard someone coughing, sneezing, and snotting away at work and wondered why they didn’t just stay home? Did you wince every time they coughed? Were you scared of getting sick yourself? Did you get sick? People come in to work while sick for a number of reasons, but for many it is financial: they simply cannot afford to take an unpaid day off work. That may change soon.

  • A whistleblower's whistle

    2014 will be the year of the whistleblower in California.

    Here’s why: On January 1, 2014, new laws (AB 263, SB 496, and SB 666) went into effect that fixed major gaps in Labor Code § 1102.5, the California whistleblower protection law. These are gaps that you probably didn’t even know existed . . . .

  • hands

    Reader, you can help bring paid family and medical leave to Americans throughout the country!

    Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will introduce the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (“FAMILY Act”). If passed, this bill will provide workers throughout the country with up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

    In a post I wrote for CELA Voice, . . . .

  • son kissing his father

    This is the final post in a four-part series on California’s parental and family care leave laws. In the previous posts, I identified and discussed several barriers that prevent workers from taking time off to bond with new babies and care for sick relatives: lack of information about the law, the lack of job protection, and the financial hardship caused by unpaid leave. In this post, I address what I believe is the trickiest barrier: fear by workers that they will be penalized at work for taking job-protected leave.

    A 2012 Department of Labor Survey on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) found that in a given year, among those protected by the FMLA, approximately 13% of workers took FMLA leave while another 5% of workers . . . .

  • Thanksgiving Dinner

    The Mizrahi Law Blog wishes all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving (or, Thanksgivukkah if you are celebrating that!).

    There are so many reasons to be grateful this year. While many of them are personal to each of us, there is one that all of us should celebrate: the expansion of paid family leave to California workers.

    Family leave laws are tremendously important. They allows workers — female and male — to put their families first and take time off to care for them when they are in need. Leave laws are one component in a broader set of laws that protect workers who care for their families, allowing men and women both to lead richer, fuller lives without fear of losing their jobs or being “mommy tracked” or “daddy tracked.” This issue has always been close to my heart, but as a parent myself, it has particular significance. . . .

  • Wal-Mart asks workers to donate

    You may have seen the photo above making the rounds on the internet. It’s from a Canton, Ohio Wal-Mart store where management put out bins for workers to donate food to other workers for Thanksgiving dinner. In “Giving thanks: A luxury that Wal-Mart workers can’t afford,” a blog post written for CELA Voice, Sharon Vinick and I discuss why this photo is so significant. . . .

  • 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? . . .

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