Paid Family Leave

California's Paid Family Leave (PFL) insurance program, which is also known as the Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program, is a law enacted in 2002 that extends unemployment disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new minor child. Benefits equal approximately 55% of earnings and have a maximum per week.

The Paid Family Leave program is administered by the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program of the Employment Development Department [EDD. [http://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/Paid_Family_Leave.htm About the Paid Family Leave Insurance Program.] Retrieved July 21, 2008.] . Benefits commenced on July 1, 2004.

The statute states that PFL must be taken concurrently with leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), both of which provide for twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve-month period.

The PFL insurance program is fully funded by employees' contributions, similar to the SDI program.

History

In 2002, California was the first state to pass a law requiring the Paid Family Leave programJones, Gregg. [http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/23/local/me-family23 Davis to sign bill allowing paid family leave.] "Los Angeles Times", September 23, 2002.] ; however, in a 2007 survey of California adults, only 28.1% were aware of the program [Milkman, Ruth. [http://www.familyleave.ucla.edu/pdf/NewData08.pdf New data on paid family leave] University of California at Los Angeles, January 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.] . As of mid-2008, the only other states that had passed laws to offer paid family leave benefits were Washington and New Jersey [Lu, Adrienne. [http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20080503_Paid_family_leave_now_law_in_N_J_.html Paid family leave now law in N.J.] "Philadelphia Inquirer", May 3, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.] .

Provisions

In order to qualify for PFL, employees must participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program.

PFL allows for up to six weeks of paid leave in a twelve-month period.

PFL covers employees who take time off to bond with their own child or their registered domestic partner's child, or a child placed for adoption or foster-care with them or their domestic partner. PFL covers employees who take time off to care for a seriously ill child, parent, spouse or domestic partner.

The employer may require employee to take up to two (2) weeks earned, but unused, vacation prior to the employee’s initial receipt of PFL benefits.

The size of the employer is a non-issue; employees working for small businesses with under fifty employees fully qualify.

There is a seven day waiting period before the employee may receive PFL benefits.

Eligibility expires one year from the minor child's date of birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

For PFL claims in 2005, weekly benefits range from $50 to $840. To qualify for the minimum weekly amount ($50), an individual must have at least $300 in wages in the base period. To qualify for the maximum weekly benefit amount ($840) an individual must earn at least $19,830.92 in a calendar quarter during the base period. The base period covers 12 months and is divided into four quarters of three months each. The wages paid approximately 5 to 17 months before the claim begins are included in the base period (they must be subject to the SDI tax).updateneed

Benefits equal approximately 55% of earnings up to the maximum, currently $882, per week.

Exclusions

Mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law are not included as care recipients.

An employee may not receive PFL insurance benefits if he or she is also eligible for or already receiving State Disability Insurance, Unemployment Compensation Insurance, or Workers' Compensation.

An employer is not required to grant time off nor to hold a job for an employee unless the employer is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act] (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

References

ee also

*California State Disability Insurance (SDI)
*Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
*United States state disability programs
*parental leave
*leave
*domestic partnerships in California

External links

* [http://www.edd.ca.gov/ Employment Development Department] — administers the PFL program
* [http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/announcements/bulletins.aspx?bulletinId=35&fileId=1 California Department of Fair Employment & Housing — Employment Bulletin, December 31, 2003.] Includes a "Comparison of Major Distinctions in the California Family Rights Act / Family Medical Leave Act and Paid Family Leave (PFL) also known as Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI)."


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