April 3, 2024
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Jackson bill passes Senate


A bill authored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, that could expand paternity leave for small business employees passed the Senate and now heads to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 654 will expand the state’s Paid Family Leave Program to employees at small businesses with 20 to 49 employees. Current law says only employees at employers of 50 or more employees are eligible for paternity leave under the program. The bill passed the Senate Aug. 31 after a vote of 24-12.

The program, which is paid for by employees and not employers, provides up to six weeks of partial wage replacement through the state’s Disability Insurance Program. The bill could impact 2.7 million more Californians.

Nine other states and the District of Columbia currently extend parental leave to small business employees. The bill originally required up to 12 weeks of parental leave, but Jackson conceded to small businesses and reduced the total to six weeks of job-protected paternity leave.

-Contact Philip Joens at pjoens@pacbiztimes.com