Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 28, 2017 - Beginning on January 1, 2018, paid family leave benefits will increase for workers in California. The increase in paid family leave is aimed at helping low wage workers take a leave from work to care for sick or disabled family members, or to establish a bond with a minor child.
“Everyone should be able to take leave from work to care for their newborn child or a sick family member without risking their job or having to worry about not making that month’s rent,” says Strong Advocates Executive Director Betsy Havens. “These paid family leave benefits will help more working families to be present for their loved ones during times of need.”
Currently, California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs offer 55 percent of wage level payments for six weeks. These payments are intended to offer workers the chance to care for a child or disabled family member. But for many low wage workers, 55 percent of wages is not enough to cover basic living expenses during even a brief leave of absence. Assembly Bill (AB) No. 908 will revise the formula used for determining the benefits available for SDI and PFL programs, and will raise the weekly benefit amount to 60 or 70 percent of a worker’s wage level, depending on income.
A worker is deemed to be eligible for SDI or PFL programs if they are unable to work during a period in which they must be available to bond or care for a minor child or a child in foster care or adoption, or to care for a family member with a sickness or disability.
Current SDI law mandates that a seven-day waiting period must be in effect before the worker receives SDI payments. During the seven-day waiting period, the worker must prove to be unable to work due to disability or caregiving needs, and they shall not be paid during this period. Beginning on January 1, 2018, AB 908 will remove this seven-day waiting period.
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