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Updated family leave policies in California

California is making updates to is paid family medical leave policies, and the state law changes officially in 2018. What does that mean for new parents? It means you can take off to bond with or care for your newborn without taking such a financial hit.

The new law specifically provides a certain amount of pay for those who take up to six weeks off for certain circumstances. According to the law, individuals will receive wither 60 percent or 70 percent of their weekly wages. Those benefits will be paid out under the state's disability insurance fund.

Workers that make a lower income -- under a certain amount per year -- will receive 70 percent of that income for up to six weeks. Workers that are paid more -- above a certain amount per year -- will receive 60 percent of their wages for up to six weeks. This bill is not a protection of job bill -- the federal Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, provides protection for workers who take unpaid leave and would still be in action in such cases. Employers could not terminate a person simply because they took such a qualified leave.

In addition to providing payments for individuals who have recently had a baby, the new California bill makes it possible for parents to draw some form of pay if they take off to care for sick children or older parents. While this law isn't in place yet, there are other laws in California that provide for pay or the ability to take an unpaid leave in certain cases.

If you believe you are not being affording the benefits you have a right to under the law, consider speaking with a lawyer. You might have a case for a lawsuit for violation of FMLA or other laws.

Source: Parent Herald, "California Family Leave Expands Benefits: What New Parents Should Know," Rachel Cruise, April 12, 2016

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