SACRAMENTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation ensuring nearly 6 million additional Californians have access to job-protected Paid Family Leave. Senate Bill (SB) 1383 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson guarantees job‑protected leave for Californians who work for an employer with five or more employees to care for a new baby, an ill family member, their own health condition, or to address a military exigency. Under pre-existing law, only parents working for an employer with 20 or more employees have a right to return to their job after taking baby bonding leave. With the passage of SB 1383, parents working for small- to medium-size employers will now have basic job protections and be able to care for their newborn baby without fear of losing their job.
“As the world deals with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we enact policies that support and strengthen our families and protect our communities,” said George Halvorson, Chair of the First 5 California Commission. “With this signature, Governor Newsom is both meeting the moment we are in and setting an example for the rest of the nation of how to lead with strong, family-centered policies. By investing in the key first months of each child’s life, California is investing in its future.”
The latest medical research reveals the very first days and months of a baby’s life are crucial to each child’s future. A baby’s brain development starts even before birth and accelerates during the first three months of life, as well as throughout the first five years. What parents and caregivers do for and with their babies in those first months give children both a strong learning start and emotionally secure underpinnings for life.
“No parent should have to choose between the healthy development of their new child and their family’s financial security,” said Camille Maben, Executive Director of First 5 California. “First 5 California launched its Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign based on the understanding that all parents need and deserve the facts about early brain science, and must understand their crucial role in nurturing their young children. Parents who talk, read, and sing to their children are building their children's brains and thus, their futures. Access to protected parent leave is crucial so more families can have these nurturing interactions with their babies in the first key weeks and months.”
Currently, 40 percent of California workers are at risk of losing their jobs if they take leave to care for a newborn, an ill loved one, or themselves, simply because their employer is too small. SB 1383 will ensure millions of California workers are able to access the Paid Family Leave benefit they pay for with deductions from their very own paychecks by providing this critical job protection.
In 2019, Governor Newsom convened a Paid Family Leave Task Force, bringing together members of the early childhood, business, and labor communities to develop a set of policy recommendations for how to expand and create a more equitable Paid Family Leave program in California, and ultimately achieve the goal of six months of bonding time with a parent for every California baby. First 5 California was named to the Task Force to provide a key early childhood voice and perspective. Expanding job protected family leave was the first recommendation born out of the Task Force.
SB 1383 will take effect January 1, 2021.
First 5 California was established in 1998 when voters passed Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 California programs and resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and caregivers in the critical role they play during a child's first five years – to help California kids receive the best possible start in life and thrive. For more information, please visit www.ccfc.ca.gov.