California’s New Parent Leave Act (SB 63)
Starting January 1, 2018, the New Parent Leave Act (also known as “SB 63”) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child.
Am I eligible?
Employees are eligible for parental leave under the New Parent Leave Act if they : (1) have worked for their employer at least 12 months, (2) have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and (3) work at a location where the company employs between 20 – 49 employees within 75 miles.
*** If your company has 50+ employees, you may be eligible for parental leave under other laws. Please see “Pregnancy + My Job” to find out.***
How much leave can I take?
An eligible employee may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child in the 12 months following the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. (Parental leave under the New Parent Leave Act is counted separately from leave taken under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave law, so leave under the New Parent Leave Act is in addition to any time you take off from work for pregnancy or childbirth related health conditions). Employees may take the leave intermittently or all at once. Upon return, an employer must reinstate an employee to his or her same or a comparable position.
Note: If both parents are employed by the same employer, the employer is not required to grant more than 12 weeks total of bonding leave to the parents. In addition, the employer is not required to, but may, grant simultaneous leave to both employees.
Will my health insurance continue?
An employer must maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an eligible employee who takes parental leave under the New Parent Leave Act at the same level and under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued to work. Note: An employer may recover the premium that the employer paid for maintaining coverage for the employee under the group health plan during his or her leave if: (1) the employee fails to return to work after the period of job-protected leave ends; and (2) the failure of the employee to return from leave is for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee.
Can I get paid?
Employees may use accrued vacation pay, paid sick time, other accrued paid time off, or other paid or unpaid time off negotiated with the employer, during their parental leave. Employees who pay into State Disability (SDI) may apply for partial wage replacement during New Parent Leave Act bonding leave through California’s Paid Family Leave program (PFL). Visit: http://www.edd.ca.gov/. Otherwise, the leave is unpaid. Check your paystub to see if you pay into State Disability Insurance.
Can my employer retaliate against me?
It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with or deny an employee’s right to leave or to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for exercising rights under the New Parent Leave Act.