California Paid Family Leave Law
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed February 01, 2021
California has a complicated network of overlapping family and medical leave laws. California's Paid Family Leave law (PFL) provides coverage for a portion of qualifying employees' wages when they take time off to care for qualifying family members or to bond with their own new child. Other state and federal laws, such as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act can provide for periods of leave from work where a worker's job is protected, but the state's Paid Family Leave insurance is what can (for qualified employees) pay for a portion of wages.
Paid Family Leave applies to any employee covered by disability insurance, which is deducted from employee paychecks.
Paid Family Leave insurance provides a qualified employee with 55% of his or her base wages, capping out at a maximum of $1,173 per week. These benefits can last up to 8 weeks within any 12-month period.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave:
The Paid Family Leave law allows for covered employees to take time off to:
- Bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster child; or
- Care for a seriously ill parent, child, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
Employees seeking time off to care for a qualifying family member should note that not just any standard, common cold or flu will qualify as a "serious" illness for purposes of receiving benefits. Paid leave is not provided by law for employees' own illnesses (with one exception being the city of San Francisco, discussed below).
San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
Employees working in San Francisco should be aware that they may have additional benefits under San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. All employers must provide paid sick leave to full- or part-time employees who work in San Francisco. These benefits accrue for employees at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours of time worked, capping at either 40 or 72 hours depending on the size of the employer. This sick leave can be used to care for the employee's own illness or that of a family member or designated person.
Note: State laws are constantly changing and family medical leave laws can be difficult and often complex. It is a good idea to contact a California employment attorney as well as conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) that may apply to your situation.
Research the Law
- California Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
- California Supreme Court Cases
California Paid Family Medical Leave Law: Related Resources
- Disability Insurance (DI) offices (EDD)
- Request a Claim Form for Paid Family Leave Benefits (EDD)
- Family and Medical Leave Laws by State
- States Without General Laws for Family and Medical Leave
Issues With California Paid Family Leave? Call an Attorney
Labor laws are a complicated set of rules and regulations which aren't always user-friendly. If you have an FMLA or other employment law-related question, why not ask an expert? Learn more about the laws and how they may apply to your legal situation by speaking with a local employment law attorney today.
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