Supporters of the expansion say California family structures are changing. They say as more working people are called on to become care givers, there is more of a need to expand the scope of the law.
“Many people simply can’t afford to take time off to care for their families without some kind of wage replacement,” says Sharon Terman with the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center. “That’s what makes paid family leave so critical.”
New Jersey and Rhode Island are the only other states with paid family leave laws. The new expansion makes California’s benefit the most far reaching in the country.
Labor rights groups say the law is a big step forward for working people. But, they say, the amount of public awareness about the benefit expansion, particularly in low-income and minority communities around the state, could be improved with a public information campaign.