Lawmakers Seek To Expand Eligibility of Sick Leave
Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a bill (SB 727) seeking to expand eligibility of California's paid family leave program, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The State Disability Insurance program provides payments to employees who take time off to care for an immediate family member with an illness. Workers who qualify are compensated 55% of their salary for up to six weeks annually, at a maximum of $882 per week.
To qualify, the family member's condition must warrant inpatient care, hospice or continuous supervision by a medical professional. Compensation is funded by a 0.5% payroll deduction.
Kuehl's measure seeks to expand eligibility to grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws.
Assembly member Sandré Swanson (D-Oakland) has proposed legislation (AB 537) to expand eligibility of an unpaid leave law, similar to Kuehl's bill.
State law protects employees of businesses with more than 50 workers from being fired for taking a temporary, unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member with an illness. The employee must work within 75 miles of an affected work site.
Both bills next month are scheduled for legislative hearings. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not taken a position on either bill (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 4/2).