STANDING UP FOR WORKING FAMILIES
My family and I were just blessed with the birth of my grandson. On a visit with my daughter and family this weekend, I was once again reminded of all the blessings, hard work and sleepless nights that come with the arrival of a new child.
Over the next few months, my daughter and son-in-law will be able to take important time off to bond with their newborn, knowing their jobs will still be there when they return.
But not all California families have that option. Those who work for smaller companies too often fear that they will lose their jobs if they utilize the state's Paid Family Leave Program.
This program, available to those who work for private employers and some who work for public employers, provides partial wage replacement for caregiving responsibilities. Employees, not employers, pay for this program through small paycheck deductions.
This year, I am authoring Senate Bill 654 to ensure that more Californians who pay into the Paid Family Leave Program can take maternity and paternity leave and have a job when they return.
Currently, mothers and fathers who work for larger companies of more than 50 employees have job-protected leave, and do not have to make a terrible choice between bonding with their newborn or keeping their jobs. My bill would ensure that more Californians who work for smaller companies will have job-protected leave, too.
Studies show that this time is important for children and parents. It helps prevent postpartum depression in mothers, helps fathers establish important bonds with their children, and gives babies the strongest possible start they need to grow up into healthy, balanced and productive adults.
I will be working hard on this bill as we finish up our final weeks of the Legislative session in Sacramento. As always, I hope you'll stay in touch. You can email me, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District