Calif. restaurants dodge a political bullet

california state capitol

In a victory for restaurants and other employers, California lawmakers held the maximum amount of paid leave time an employee can take to deal with extraordinary family circumstances to six weeks.

There had been speculation that the state, the first in the nation to mandate paid family leave, would follow New York’s lead and raise the maximum time allotted to 12 weeks. New York set that new benchmark for paid leave time about two weeks ago.

San Francisco also recently changed its paid family-leave program, raising the compensation level to 100 percent of the employee’s average income, from the current level of 55 percent. Employers will be required to provide that additional 45 percent of pay, starting next year.

In California, holding the maximum paid time off was part of a political deal that enabled lawmakers to raise how much pay an employee gets during a family-related leave. The compensation was raised to 70 percent of the average income for people earning an hourly wage. Employees who earn up to $108,000 per year will be paid 60 percent.

The new rates take effect in 2018, but should have no direct effect on restaurants. Employees on family leave are paid from state-run insurance funds generated by levying a small worker-paid payroll tax.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the new parental leave measure into law today.



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