If you’re like many new moms and dads, you know that California employees are sometimes entitled to paid parental leave – but does it apply in your case?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Paid Parental Leave?
In the state of California, paid family leave – commonly called PFL – covers about 18.3 million workers throughout the state. The PFL program is funded through mandatory employee payroll deductions, and it provides eligible people with about 60 to 70 percent of their wages earned from 5 to 18 months prior to the start date of their claims. The maximum wage replacement rate is $1,216 per week for up to 6 weeks.
What About When Your Employer Pays You During Parental Leave?
If your employer pays you during your parental leave, you’re not eligible for PFL. In order to be eligible, you must:
- Be unable to work because you need to bond with a new child
- Be employed or be actively looking for work when your family leave begins
- Have lost wages because you are bonding with a new child
- Have earned at least $300 from which state disability insurance, or SDI, was withheld
The key here is that you have lost wages because you need time to bond with your child.
Parental Leave in California
Parental leave, which is also called bonding leave, is time that you take off to bond with your new child. For women, it’s usually a combination of parental leave and pregnancy disability leave.
Not all employers are required to provide parental leave. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act and the New Parents Leave Act, only employers with 20 or more employers are required to provide parental leave.
Not all employees are eligible for it, either. In order to be eligible, you must:
- Have worked at least 12 months for a covered employer
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours in that 12 months
- Work at a location where your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius (under the New Parents Leave Act, your employer must only have at least 20 employees within a 75-mile radius)
Are Employers Required to Pay You During Parental Leave?
Employers are not required to pay you for parental leave. You can ask your employer to use your paid vacation time, sick leave or PTO, however – and in some cases, employers require it.
Your employer does have to continue your group health coverage while you’re on leave, though.
Do You Think Your Employer Violated Your Rights on Parental Leave?
If you suspect your employer violated your rights to parental leave, you could have legal recourse – but you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim.
We may be able to help you.
Call us today at 818-617-9706 or toll-free at 800-774-4163 to discuss your case, before it’s too late.