Small business employees may get 12 weeks of leave, bill now on Governor's desk

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A bill to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected maternity and paternity leave for Californians who work for smaller employers of 20 or more employees has passed out of the Senate and now sits on the Governor's desk.

According to a press release from Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), the New Parent Leave Act would ensure that more Californians can take leave to care for a newborn without the fear of losing their jobs. Under current law, only those who work for an employer of 50 or more are eligible for job-protected leave. The press release goes on to say, "Last year Jackson authored SB 654, a similar bill that was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown out of a concern that small businesses could be impacted by disputes between employees and employers over new parent leave. His veto message stated that pre-litigation mediation was 'a viable option that should be explored.' Working with the Governor?s Office, changes were made to SB 63 to create a two-year pilot program within the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to allow employers and employees to mediate any disputes under this new parental leave program prior to litigation."

Friday, September 15th is the last day for each house to pass bills.

Governor Jerry Brown has until October 15th to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature on or before Sept. 15.

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