Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 10:39 pm | Fair 62º


Governor Signs Jackson Bill for Parental Leave

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) that will allow millions more California parents to take time off to care for a newborn without fear of losing their jobs.

The signing ceremony was attended by members of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Senate Bill 63, the New Parent Leave Act, will provide 12 weeks of job-protected maternity and paternity leave for up to 2.7 million more California parents who work for smaller companies with 20 to 49 employees.

Under current law, only those who work for an employer of 50 or more are eligible for job-protected leave. SB 63 will take effect Jan. 1.

“This is a great victory for working parents and children in California, and I am grateful to the governor for signing this bill into law,” said Jackson.

“With more women in the workforce, and more parents struggling to balance work and family responsibilities, our policies must catch up to the realities of our economy and the daily lives of working families," she said.

"We are in the midst of a paradigm shift right now, one in which both parents often work and shoulder caregiving responsibilities, and it is only fitting that our workplaces and public policies adjust accordingly. No one should have to choose between caring for their newborn and keeping their job,” she said.

SB 63, a priority of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, is the culmination of a two-year effort by Jackson to strengthen California’s maternity and paternity leave policies for those who work for smaller employers.

It comes as momentum is growing in California and nationwide for stronger family leave policies in both the public and private sectors.

SB 63 gained bipartisan support as it moved through the Legislature this year.

It had the support of dozens of early-education groups, work and family organizations, health organizations, labor and other advocacy groups who understood the value of family leave for promoting the health and well-being of parents, workers, children and families, Jackson's office reports.

SB 63 also ensures more Californians who are paying into the Paid Family Leave Program are able to use their benefits without risk of losing their jobs.

California’s Paid Family Leave Program, the first in the country when it passed in 2002, is entirely employee funded and provides six weeks of partial wage replacement to workers for caregiving responsibilities, including for bonding with a newborn.

According to a 2011 study, among those who qualified for California’s Paid Family Leave Program and needed leave but did not apply for benefits, 37 percent said they did not apply because they feared they would be fired or face other negative consequences at work.

Research shows the first 12 weeks of life are critical to a child’s early brain development, and parental leave is associated with improved maternal and child health, a longer duration of breastfeeding, and improved mental health in new mothers.

An opinion poll, released this year from Small Business Majority and the Center for American Progress, showed that a majority of small business owners — 71 percent — support expanding job protection for family and medical leave to businesses with 20 or more employees.

A similar bill last year, SB 654, passed with bipartisan support but was vetoed by the governor, who expressed concerns about litigation.

In response to these concerns, SB 63 includes a two-year pilot program within the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to allow employers and employees to mediate disputes under this new parental leave program prior to the filing of litigation.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Cynthia Moreno for State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction."

Full Profile >