California Expands Paid Family Leave Law

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Yesterday, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 770, which permits workers to take paid family leave to care for an expanded set of seriously ill relatives.  Existing law, under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), permitted eligible California workers to receive temporary disability benefits for up to six weeks of leave per year to care spouses, domestic partners, children and parents with serious health conditions.  The new law extends eligibility for paid family leave to employees caring for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parent-in-laws.

SB 770 takes effect on July 1, 2014.  Eligibility for paid family leave is unchanged by the new law; in order to qualify for paid family leave, eligible workers must still: (i) have more than 12 months of service, and at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous twelve month period, with the employer; and (ii) work at a location in which the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite.