California Parental Leave Act

California Parental Leave Act

Does your business employ 20 or more people? If so, the new California Parental Leave Act went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 – requiring small businesses to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new mothers, fathers and foster parents.

Senate Bill 63 amends Section 12945.6 of California Family Rights Act (applicable for employers 50 or more employees) to expand the “baby bonding” protections to smaller businesses.

Here’s the nitty gritty: The employee must have at least 1,250 hours (from the previous 12 months) on the books to qualify, and the law also protects them from losing their health care/job benefits during the 12-week leave. Additionally, the employee must take the leave within one year of the child’s birth or placement with the family. If desired, the employee can use their paid sick time and vacation leave during the time off.

If your business employs both parents, the leave does not need to be offered simultaneously to the employees. However, the employer must continue to offer health coverage to the employee during the parental leave, and guarantee their position (or a comparable position) when the leave is complete. If the employee does not return after the leave, the employer may recover costs of the health plan, providing that it’s not caused by a serious health condition or circumstances beyond the employee’s control.


The blog posts and e-newsletters from Lester & Cantrell, LLP are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Please contact our attorneys to obtain advice in respects to the new California Parental Leave Act. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Lester & Cantrell, LLP and the user. Any opinions expressed on our blogs/e-newsletters are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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