California Governor Approves Legislation Raising Paid Family Leave Benefits for Employees

On April 11, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 908, which will increase workers’ access to State Disability Insurance (“SDI”) and Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) starting in 2018.

PFL provides wage replacement benefits for up to six weeks to care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner.  The State administers PFL through the SDI program.  PFL only provides wage replacement benefits, and does not create an independent right to a leave of absence or provide job protection.

Currently, employees who are injured outside of work or need time off to care for a family member may receive partial wage replacement benefits at a rate of 55 percent of their wages from the State.  Before receiving these benefits, employees must undergo a seven-day waiting period.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the rate for wage replacement benefits will increase to 70 percent for low-income workers, and 60 for percent for others.  AB 908 defines a low-income worker as an employee whose highest wage range during the quarterly base period is $929 or less.  Additionally, AB 908 will eliminate the seven-day waiting period for PFL.

For more information concerning the new law, please contact one of the authors or attorneys in the Private Labor and Employment Group or visit our website at


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