As of July 2020, California will expand state benefits available to workers who lose wages while taking time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

 

The new law expands the state's family Temporary Disability Insurance Program managed through the Employment Development Department (EDD). The benefit program "Paid Family Leave" or PFL (Senate Bill (SB) 83) provides certain workers with up to eight weeks-two additional weeks-of PFL benefits.

California's PFL Program provides employees "who take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member ... including: Child, Parent, Parent-in-law, Grandparent, Grandchild, Sibling, Spouse, or Registered Domestic Partner.

The PFL Program provides employees to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement" with partial pay. In addition, this family temporary disability insurance program (part of the state's disability insurance program), provides covered workers wage replacement benefits for up to six weeks.

The new law will instead "provide for wage replacement benefits for up to eight weeks to workers who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement, as specified."

California has expanded its PFL program to include a wider range of family members, eliminate a waiting period, and increase benefit amounts. It was the first U.S. state to implement a PFL program and now five states have enacted similar programs.

California's EDD's PFL plan is well funded; currently the payroll tax rate is 1.0 percent of an employee's first $118,371 in wages earned in a calendar year. The current law authorizes a tax rate as high as 1.5 percent. Analysts expect that the rate could rise in 2020, and additional increases later as well.

 

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