Jackson Issues Statement on Veto of Her New Parent Leave Act

September 30, 2016

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a California Legislative Women’s Caucus priority bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), the New Parent Leave Act. Senate Bill 654, which received bipartisan support as it passed through the Legislature, would have provided job-protected new parent leave for up to 2.7 million more Californians who work for smaller companies.

Due to an inequity in current law, employees who work for companies with 49 or fewer employees pay into the state’s Paid Family Leave Program but lack job-protection given to employees who work for companies of 50 or more. SB 654 would have ensured that employees who work for companies with between 20 and 49 employees do not risk being fired for taking six weeks of bonding time to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

“I’m deeply disappointed in today’s veto. This bill would have corrected an inequity in current law that leaves millions of new parents without the ability to take advantage of the Paid Family Leave Program they already pay into without the fear they could lose their jobs if they do. This year, the Governor signed a bill, AB 908, which increases the wage replacement rate for those who take Paid Family Leave. Yet with today’s veto, millions of Californians who work for smaller companies will not be able to benefit from that important measure that Brown signed into law because they could lose their jobs if they do. I believe everyone deserves the basic right to take time off to care for a newborn. With more women in the workforce than ever before, supporting working families through more family-friendly workplace policies has become elevated as a national priority. As many states move forward with strong policies for parental leave, California cannot afford to be left behind. I will continue to work to advance this important issue in the future. “

Paid Family Leave is entirely paid for through employee payroll deductions.