A push in the California Legislature to expand job-protected maternity and paternity leave has stalled in an Assembly committee after three Democrats withheld their votes.
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson’s bill would require businesses with 10 or more employees to let their workers take up to 12 weeks off to bond with a new child.
“That first 12 weeks of bonding is critically crucial to the child – and to the parental-child relationship,” Jackson told the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Wednesday.
But Jennifer Barrera with the California Chamber of Commerce argued that the bill could force employers to allow twice as much time off to comply with a related federal law as well.
“I agree that it’s important for a child to be with their parents and that they shouldn’t be put into day care at an early age,“ Barrera said. “But at the same time, there has to be a balance with regards to the private business sector as well, so that we can continue to grow our economy.”
Democratic Asms. Kevin McCarty and Tony Thurmond voted for the bill; Republican Asm. Jim Patterson voted against it. Committee chair Roger Hernandez and two other Democrats, Asms. Kansen Chu and Patrick O'Donnell, did not vote -- along with Republican Asm. Eric Linder.
Sen. Jackson’s office said it does not expect the bill to get another vote this year.