Employer-Paid Family Leave: San Francisco Joins California, New York



San Francisco is on track to become the nation’s first city to mandate employer-paid family leave for private sector workers under legislation approved April 12 by the Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco’s mayor, Edwin Lee (D), said he will sign the ordinance within 10 days.

San Francisco’s new ordinance includes provisions whereby employees, including part-time workers, could receive up to their full pay while being allowed to spend time bonding with a newborn or newly-adopted child.

Also, under the San Francisco ordinance, an employer’s weekly contribution would be capped at $924, which represents 45 percent of this year’s maximum weekly benefit under the state program.

California Provisions

Meanwhile on April 11, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed (A.B. 908), effective Jan. 1, 2018, providing paid family leave increases of as much as 15 percent, depending on an employee's income, for employees taking time off to care for a new child or ill family member.

The California measure increases wage replacement from the current 55 percent to 60 percent for employees who make more than 33 percent of the California average weekly wage. In addition, benefits increase to 70 percent of wage replacement for those who make up to 33 percent of the state average weekly wage.

Thus, based on California’s current average weekly wages, the 70 percent wage replacement benefit applies to those making about $19,000 a year or less and the 60 percent wage replacement applies to those making more, according to a legislative staff analysis of the bill.

New York Provisions

In a related legislative development, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed legislation (S. 6406) on April 4, which gradually will require employers to provide their employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave.

New York’s paid family leave provisions, set to be phased in beginning in 2018, will be funded by employee payroll deduction.

New York’s family leave provisions, scheduled to be fully effective in 2021, will provide employees with 12 weeks of leave at 67 percent of their average weekly wage.

See related story, San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Law Advances.

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