Council Hails Signing of Paid Family Leave Legislation

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Governor Newsom on Thursday (Sept. 17) signed legislation the Bay Area Council helped create and bring to the finish line that will expand paid family leave (PFL) to more workers. SB 1383 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) ensures job-protected leave for Californians who work for an employer with five or more employees to bond with a newborn, care for a seriously ill family member, respond to an urgent military obligation or care for their own illness. Jackson praised the Council’s leadership at a virtual signing ceremony attended by CEO Jim Wunderman, his 6-month-old daughter, Caroline, and Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

Prior to this legislation, low wage replacement rates and lack of job protection meant that millions of employees who pay for these benefits each month were not able to use them. An important companion bill, AB 1867, that the Bay Area Council also supported, protects employers from potential litigation risks by creating a comprehensive mediation program to resolve any disputes that may arise.

The Council’s intensive advocacy efforts on this key legislation included the release of a seminal Bay Area Council Economic Institute report on the benefits of PFL for workers, employers and the economy. Regan also served on Gov. Newsom’s PFL Task Force, whose findings helped in the drafting of SB 1383.

The Council has been a longtime advocate of expanding PFL and fixing inequities in the current system. It is good for employees and employers alike. Our analysis of hundreds of thousands of paid family leave claims in California clearly shows that employers benefit financially when employees access these benefits and are allowed to return to their jobs. To engage in the Council’s paid family leave and other family-friendly workplace policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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