- The California Legislature has passed a bill that would make the state's mandatory parental leave available to 2.7 million more residents state-wide, mainly those who work for small employers, according to the LA Times.
- In a 24-12 votes, the "New Parent Leave Act" passed the state Senate yesterday and now all that remains is a signature from Governor Jerry Brown.
- The bill gives parents at smaller companies (20 to 49 workers) six weeks' parental leave for a newborn or newly adopted child, without job loss concerns. California has one of the most generous laws in the nation for parental leave, but it had only applied to employers with 50 or more employees. The legislation also gives parents from small employers access to the state's Paid Family Leave Program, which gives up to six weeks of partial wages for some caregiving responsibilities.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation earlier this year that expanded the state parental leave benefit to low-income families, as starting in 2018, California's law allows people earning close to minimum wage to be paid 70% of their salary while on leave (workers with higher pay, up to $108,000 annually, will get 60% of their salary during leave). The vote Wednesday, the Times reports, is part of the momentum for stronger family leave laws nationwide, and as some tech employers have amended their benefits.
In fact, parental leave is gaining momentum nationwide in 2016, as states, municipalities and employers themselves are making inroads. As it stands, however, a federal paid leave program is unlikely, due to political and business opposition.
Of course, from the employer and HR perspective, parental leave is a strong incentive in battling for top talent, especially when looking to hire younger workers who have yet to start families. Paid parental leave is getting so much attention that conservatives have come forth with a plan.