State Should Not Require Employers To Provide Paid Family Leave, Union-Tribune Says
Although paid leave for employees to care for family members with illnesses or to spend time with newborns "would be a good thing," the state should not require employers to provide the benefit, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/30). A Senate-passed bill (SB 1661), sponsored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), would require the state disability insurance program -- funded by California employers and employees -- to pay "partial replacement compensation" for up to 12 weeks when an employee leaves work as a result of a "temporary family disability." Employees who qualify would receive benefits to care for a "seriously ill child, spouse, parent or domestic partner or to bond with a newborn infant." The bill, currently under consideration in the Assembly, would require a doctor to "verify that there was a serious illness or a new child" before an employee could take a leave. The legislation would provide employees with payments that range from $50 to $490 per week and cap payments at 55% of earnings for the period of leave (California Healthline, 7/29). The editorial concludes, "During these uncertain economic times, the very last thing California employers need are higher labor costs mandated by Sacramento. And that's precisely what passage of SB 1661 would mean" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.