On the coasts, a large week for family leave

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 10:18 AM

On the heels of the pay bump, NY state and San Francisco also approved major expansions of paid family leave. That’s not saying much, of course.

On the coasts, a large week for family leave

The new $15 minimum wage isn’t the only bicoastal gift this week for workers in NY and California. On the heels of the pay bump, NY state and San Francisco also approved major expansions of paid family leave.

That’s not saying much, of course. The United States lags so distant behind the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to work-family balance that nearly any expansion could be considered major.

Still, when it takes effect in two thousand-eighteenth, will displace California’s as the best in the nation. And starting in January, thanks to the , larger San Francisco businesses will have to, for family leaves of up to six weeks.

Right now, gives workers twelve weeks of job-protected leave to care for a new baby or a ill relative. But it only covers companies with more than fifty employees. Also, it’s unpaid, so millions can’t afford to get it. Only California, NJ and RI have programs to replace any of that lost pay.

New York’s new policy, signed into law Monday, improves on California’s. Importantly, NY will proposal job-protected leave for all full- and part-time employees with six months on the job – not just those at firms with more than fifty employees, as in this state.

NY also will proposal more leave than California. This state’s family leave program replaces portion of a worker’s lost pay for up to six weeks. It was groundbreaking when it was passed, but really that’s not sufficient time to bond properly with an adoptive baby or newborn, or to obtain a sick, elderly parent through an illness and organize care through convalescence.

NY will proposal eight weeks starting in two thousand-eighteenth, phasing up to twelve weeks over the following three years. That’s more love it (though, again, nothing compared to 6-month-plus paid leaves of Europe). Over the long term, the wage replacement also is more generous.

A bill by Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, passed by the Legislature latest month – – would expand the benefit modestly in this state starting in two thousand-eighteenth, particularly for minimum wage workers, bringing CA back into the lead, at minimum on that front.

Lawmakers also should pass to create the state program work better for workers at tiny companies, by mandating work protection at firms with more than five employees.

The CA Chamber of Commerce has, unfortunately,, though it costs employers nothing. California’s family leave is paid for entirely by workers, through a tiny payroll deduction that happens whether or not their company can fire them for taking advantage of the program.

Why the chamber keeps picking this battle is unclear. It , and in more than a decade, not one of the dire consequences it predicted has arrive to fruition. Indeed, businesses, here and elsewhere, are vying to make better family leave, merely to hang onto employees. just expanded to four months at full pay.

Millennial workers and global corporations , and Congress should obtain with it and create a national program. A policy this basic shouldn’t be created piecemeal.

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