The State of California recently passed SB-83, which extends Paid Family Leave benefits from six to eight weeks for claims that start on or after July 1, 2020.

CA’s Paid Family Leave program (“PFL”) is a state disability insurance program. PFL provides up to eight weeks of wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner. PFL can also provide eight weeks for benefits to employees who take time off to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption.

Employees apply for PFL benefits by submitting a claim online with the Employment Development Department (EDD). Employees must wait to submit their claims with the EDD until after they start their leave but must submit their claims within 41 days of the start of their leave. If approved, employees will generally receive up to 60-70% of their wages from the EDD.

As a reminder, PFL is a wage supplement program and not a job-protected leave of absence. Employees may be entitled to a leave of absence under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA).

Employers should also stay tuned this year for updates on SB-83. SB-83 requires California Governor Gavin Newsom to propose a plan for more benefit increases and job protections for employees receiving PFL benefits by November 19, 2019.

SB-83 also affects San Francisco’s local ordinance. San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance is matching California’s extension. San Francisco employers must supplement an employee’s PFL benefits so that they receive 100% of their wages for eight weeks instead of six weeks.

Please contact a Stokes Wagner attorney if you have any questions. For a printable PDF of this article, click here.

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