For a decade, California’s Paid Family Leave Law has allowed workers to receive paid time off while taking care of a sick child, parent, spouse or domestic partner.
Starting Tuesday, the state expands the type of relatives Californians can take paid time off of work to care for to include siblings, grandparents, in-laws and grandchildren. It’s funded through the state disability insurance program that comes out of an employee's paycheck.
Sharon Terman with the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center in San Francisco called the expansion of this law a "critical step" for workers who can't afford to take time off unpaid to care for ill relatives.
Workers need a doctor's certificate stating the relative needs care and will then get 55% of their wage for the time they are the primary caregiver. It can be used for six weeks in any one year – the same as caring for a close relative.
But there is one big difference: job protection.
Companion state laws require employers to keep someone's job open if he or she takes time off to take care of close relatives - but that has not been broadened to include extended family.