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e-Alert – California Extends Paid Family Leave from 6 to 8 Weeks

By August 12, 2019No Comments


On June 27, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newson signed Senate Bill (SB) 83, which, beginning on July 1, 2020, will extend from six to eight weeks the maximum duration of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits individuals may receive from California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. Covered family leave reasons include caring for a seriously ill family member or bonding with a child within the first year of birth or placement for foster care or adoption. The new law also requires the governor to propose, by November 2019, further benefit increases — in terms of duration and amount — and job protections for people receiving PFL benefits.


California was the first state to create a PFL program, effective in July 2004. Since then, seven other states followed suit in adopting similar programs—New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia and more recently Connecticut. In recent years, California has expanded its program to include a wider range of family members, eliminate a waiting period, and increase benefit amounts. The California governor has a goal of increasing PFL duration to a full six months by 2021 – 2022.

Next Steps for Employers

  • HR Knowledge will continue to monitor these changes.
  • California employers that operate state-approved voluntary plans in place of California’s SDI program
    should review their plan with legal counsel or HR Knowledge to determine how SB 83 will affect their
  • California employers should review their handbook and parental leave policy to ensure compliance
    with this new law.
  • If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your
    handbook or parental leave policy, please email us.

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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.