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San Francisco is First U.S. City to Approve Fully Paid Parental Leave

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Apr 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

San Francisco Employees to Receive Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave

On April 5, 2016, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors approved a measure entitled the “Paid Parental Leave Ordinance”. The ordinance mandates that San Francisco employers provide six weeks of fully paid leave during a calendar year for new parents, including mothers, fathers, and same-sex couples, who either bear or adopt a child.

Employers and Employees Impacted by the Ordinance
Currently, through the California Paid Family Leave Program (PFL) all California employees may receive up to 55% of their pay for six weeks when they are off work to bond with a newborn baby, newly adopted child, or new foster child, or to care for a seriously ill family member.

After the new paid parental leave law takes effect, covered San Francisco employers will be forced to pay the 45% remainder not provided by PFL. The results–workers will receive their normal gross weekly pay during absences of six weeks for the purpose of bonding with a new child, as described above.

In order to be eligible for the San Francisco paid leave benefit, employees must meet the following criteria:

  1. work eight hours or more per week in San Francisco,
  2. 40% of their total weekly hours worked for the employer must be worked in San Francisco, and
  3. they must already be eligible for California's PFL Program.

However, eligibility only kicks in after that they have worked for a company for 180 days prior to the start of the leave period. Both mothers and fathers are covered, including same-sex couples.

Per the new ordinance, all governmental entities, including the City and County of San Francisco, are not covered.

Effective Date of the Ordinance
Effective January 1, 2017, all employers in San Francisco with 50 or more employees, regardless of their location, are covered by the ordinance. Starting on July 1, 2017, covered employers are those with 35 or more employees, and starting on January 1, 2018, covered employers are those with 20 or more employees.

Have questions about San Francisco's Paid Parental Leave?
New paid leave laws often prompt additional questions from employers and employees alike. For example, can employers require that employees use vacation time at the start of parental leave? Or, how are employers required to notify employees of this new law? An experienced California employment lawyer can quickly answer these questions, and many others about California's paid leave laws. To discuss San Francisco's paid parental leave, or any other California employment law, feel free to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Call toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us via email.

About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, attorney and firm co-founder Eric B. Kingsley has litigated complex cases and authored numerous appellate briefs in both state and federal court on behalf of the California law firm of Kingsley & Kingsley, including over 150 class actions. Mr. Kingsley concentrates his pra...

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