UST member nonprofit organization, ZERO TO THREE, made the following announcement in their newsletter today:
This month saw huge victories for families in New York and California with the passage of new and expanded Paid Family Leave (PFL) laws.
New York is the fourth state in the country to guarantee PFL to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. The program will go into effect in 2018, initially covering 50% of a worker’s average wages (up to a cap) for up to eight weeks. That will increase to 67% of a worker’s wages for up to 12 weeks in 2021 – twice the amount of time currently covered by other states. New York’s PFL program will be funded by an employee payroll deduction.
ZERO TO THREE helped advocates in New York make the case for PFL by developing a fact sheet, in partnership with the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign and the National Partnership for Women and Families, which was used to educate policymakers and the public.
Success was achieved at the state and local levels in California. First San Francisco passed a new PFL measure designed to complement the state’s existing policy, which currently provides workers 55% of their wages for six weeks of PFL. The city ordinance requires businesses with more than 20 employees to fill the income gap by paying the remaining 45% of their employees’ wages. Both full- and part-time workers will be eligible. Since California’s PFL law was enacted in 2004, higher income workers have been most likely to take advantage of it. The San Francisco law aims to make PFL more accessible to lower wage workers. Advocates pushing the state to address this issue were successful as well. Just yesterday Governor Jerry Brown increased the PFL benefit to 70% of wages for workers earning $20,000 or less per year and 60% of wages for all others.
Learn more about PFL on the ZERO TO THREE website.