Parental Leave Protection Expansion
With the recent signing of Senate Bill 63, California’s parental leave protections are set to expand starting January 1, 2018.
Under current law, employers who employ 50 or more people are required to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of protected leave for the following reasons: to bond with a new child, to care for a family member, or for self-care purposes due to serious health conditions. The new law will expand eligibility for protected leave to include employers who employ 20 or more people. Though this will considerably increase coverage, a significant portion of the workforce will still remain unprotected.
Employees are deemed eligible for protection if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period, and work at a site in which there are at least 20 employees within a 75-mile radius. Parents who work for the same employer are entitled to simultaneous protected leave so long as they are both eligible employees.
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will also be required to form a parental leave mediation pilot program. Under this program, employers will have the option of requesting mediation between parties within 60 days of receiving a right-to-sue notice, which will prohibit the filing of any civil action until the mediation is complete.
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