California Ups the Ante on Paid Family Leave

Just a week after San Francisco went all out by guaranteeing 100 percent pay for employees who take family leave for the birth of a child, the state of California is raising its contribution to the program beginning in 2018.

When it kicks in, those earning close to the minimum wage will receive 70 percent of their pay for six weeks of leave for childbirth or caring for a family member, while higher earners — up to $108,000 a year — will receive 60 percent, courtesy of a state fund.

(Under the San Francisco law, taking effect next year, employers are responsible for making up the difference to guarantee 100 percent pay.)

Saying his state “is doing more in the aggregate than any other state” for its citizens’ welfare, Gov. Jerry Brown said the measure was one more step in “trying to compensate for the gross inequality that is not an abstraction but is bringing down the lives of a lot of people.”

President Obama immediately called upon Congress to pass a nationwide measure to guarantee paid family leave.
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