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A Summary of SB 1661--Paid Family Leave State Law

Employer Coverage: One or more employees
Employee Eligibility begins: Date of employment commencement and need for leave.
Amount of Leave: Six weeks paid leave in a twelve-month period.
Reasons for leave: Serious health condition of a child of the employee, spouse or domestic partner; or serious health condition of the employee's parent(s).
Medical Certification Requirement: Yes.
Vacation Pay During Leave: Employer may require the employee to take up to two weeks of paid vacation during leave.
Employee Return Rights: There are no rights to return unless the rights already exist under some other law.
Continuation of Benefits: No benefit continuation unless it already exists under some other law.
This legislation becomes effective 1/1/2004. The paid leave will be funded by an increase in state disability insurance and employees only (our victory in this debacle) will be taxed at a higher rate. There will be no higher tax on employers. Your employees will be eligible to apply for paid leave after 7/1/2004. They may have up to six weeks. The difference between the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), The California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the new state law are simple. SB1661 does not create a right to a leave of absence. Like SDI, it provides pay for the time that an employee is off work for an acceptable reason. Employers who are covered by federal or state family medical leave laws (FMLA) and/or (CFRA) and California's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) must still comply with these laws in terms of granting time off, continuing benefits and preserving job rights.
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