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New Parent Leave Bill To Get Second Chance In California Legislature

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California Legislative Women's Caucus Chair Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) announces the caucus's priorities for the coming year at the state Capitol Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

A California lawmaker is resurrecting her proposal to expand job-protected family leave after her previous effort died amid controversy earlier this summer.
 
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson wants to let new parents at businesses with 10 or more employees take up to 12 weeks off without losing their jobs.
 
Jackson's office says she will amend an unrelated bill Thursday on the Assembly floor after her original measure failed in the Assembly Labor and Employment committee in June.
 
The committee chair, Roger Hernández, has been a reliable Democratic vote for years and even voted for a similar bill last year. But when Jackson’s bill came up this time around, he abstained –  as did two other Democrats on the committee.
 
That drew attention because earlier this year, Jackson and the Legislative Women’s Caucus that she co-chairs had called on Hernández to take a leave of absence after domestic violence allegations surfaced against him. Many state Capitol watchers viewed Hernández's action as political retaliation, a charge that Hernández has denied.
 
The California Chamber of Commerce calls the bill a “job killer,” arguing that it could force employers to provide up to seven months of leave to some employees when implemented alongside existing mandates.
 
The new bill, once amended, will then be heard in the same committee in which Jackson's original measure died. However, that panel is no longer chaired by Hernández. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon stripped Hernández of his committee assignments last month.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio