California Family Resource Association
 
 

New Law Boosts Paid Family Leave Benefits

Low-income families will get a boost in their Paid Family Leave benefits, and CFRA is proud to say that our members and their parent partners played an important role in identifying the need for this policy change.

California's Paid Family Leave program has historically allowed working men and women to take up to six weeks off of work to spend time with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. The program enables participants to receive 55% of their wages during their leave, but many families are unable to survive on just a fraction of their usual wages so they continue working due to financial necessity. This hardship was brought to the State’s attention last year when California’s Employment Development Department hired consultants to research why many eligible parents were not participating in the program.

CFRA was proud to connect our family resource center members to that project. Shasta County Child Abuse Prevention Council, West Fresno Family Resource Center, and Pasadena/Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders helped arrange focus groups in which their local parent partners gave feedback about the program. These parent leaders identified the low reimbursement rate as a primary barrier to participation. Now the governor and state legislature have also recognized this issue and on Monday April 11, 2016 Governor Brown signed into law a new measure that will allow low-income participants to be paid 70% of their salary while on leave, while workers with higher pay will get 60% of their salary during leave. The change will take effect in 2018.

Thank you and congratulations to our family resource center members and their parent partners whose input helped inform decision makers and improve a program that affects all parents in the state of California.

To learn more about Paid Family Leave benefits, visit: http://paidfamilyleave.org/