California already is one of the few states to offer partially paid family leave, with workers eligible to receive 55% of their pay for six weeks via employee-financed public disability insurance. The San Francisco ordinance fills in the gap with its mandate of full pay for new parents during that time period. Under the ordinance, employers are responsible for the remaining 45% of an employee’s wages.
San Francisco’s law will be phased in to give smaller employers extra time to comply with the following effective dates:
- January 1, 2017 – employers with 50 or more employees;
- July 1, 2017 – employers with 35 or more employees; and
- January 1, 2018 – employers with 20 or more employees.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed an expansion of the state’s paid leave law on the heels of the San Francisco ordinance. The measure Brown signed on April 11 will increase the pay employees can receive to 60% of their wages, starting in 2018. It also creates a new classification that will enable low-income workers to receive 70% of their pay.
Meanwhile, New York state has passed a comprehensive law that will establish 12 weeks of paid family leave. The New York paid family leave law will be funded through employee payroll deductions so there will be no direct costs for employers. New Jersey and Rhode Island also mandate partially paid family leave through employee payroll deductions.