California workers will receive more money from the state when they take time off to care for relatives, children or themselves under a new law.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure Monday that will increase the paid family leave and disability leave rates.
"When the mothers can take off some time, or the fathers, to take care of the kids when they’re born or a family member when they become ill, that’s human," Brown says.
Workers currently can receive 55 percent of their pay for up to six weeks. Under the new law, that rate will rise to 60 percent in 2018 for most employees, or 70 percent for low-wage workers.
“We originally tried to do more,“ says the bill's author, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles). “But one of the things that I realized from watching Governor Brown is that sometimes, we have to take incremental steps that make financial sense – not only for our budget but just for our state’s economy.”
The money comes from payroll withholdings. Legislative staff estimate it will increase the amount withheld for the program by a tenth of a percent.
The higher rates will expire in 2021 unless they are renewed by lawmakers.