Paid leave opportunities for new parents are finally getting some much needed and desired support on the state government level. New York just announced a paid leave benefit for families beginning in 2018, and San Francisco approved a parental leave model this week that will make it the first city in the country to offer six weeks of fully paid leave for parents. The fully paid leave, which includes same sex couples and parents who adopt, will expand California’s current leave offering, which provides workers with 55% of their pay for six weeks as part of employee-financed public disability insurance. The new law will require the 45% difference in pay to be covered by employers, a decision that brought opposition from small business owners who argue that the new plan would be a financial detriment to them. Despite this argument, the new law passed unanimously by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and will go into effect on January 1, 2017. Small businesses (those with less than 20 workers) will have an additional year. Although the law stipulates that employees must work at the business for six months before they are eligible, this fully paid leave milestone offers a valuable opportunity for new families and will hopefully serve as a model for other states and the national government. California, which is one of only four states in the entire country to implement a paid family leave policy at all, has been extremely proactive in pushing for worker’s benefits and rights recently. A law signed on Monday will raise minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour by 2022, and the governor is fighting to offer tax-free retirement savings plans for millions of Californians who do not have programs through their workplace.

via The New York Times

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