6 things to know about family leave

Both California and federal law allow family leave to bond with a new child or to care for a sick relative, but there are key differences. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering using the programs.
By
Up Next
Both California and federal law allow family leave to bond with a new child or to care for a sick relative, but there are key differences. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering using the programs.
By

Data Tracker

California men are jumping at the chance to take paid family leave

By Phillip Reese

preese@sacbee.com

February 01, 2018 03:55 AM

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took time off to care for his newborn daughter in 2015 – and again after the birth of his second daughter in 2017 – he became part of a wave of California men using paid family leave.

About 85,000 California men took paid family leave in California during the 2017 fiscal year, double the number that took paternity leave in 2009, according to the latest figures from the California Employment Development Department. The number of women taking paid maternity leave during that period increased by a modest 6 percent.

Under a long-standing California program, women can take up to 12 weeks of disability payments following a birth. After 2004, women and men could also take up to six weeks of paid family leave. The state pays for the benefits using worker State Disability Insurance (SDI) contributions. Workers can also pay into a voluntary plan; employers don’t pay.

California is one of only a handful of states offering paid family leave for men and women. Most states instead offer unpaid leave.

Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.

Our journalism takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work to produce. If you read and enjoy our journalism, please consider subscribing today.

Money from paid family leave can alleviate the pressure on men to continue working after a child is born to keep income flowing.

A decade ago, less than 25 percent of California family leave claims were filed by men; last year, that figure rose to nearly 40 percent.

Fathers sometimes take leave at the same time as the moms, but increasingly they take leave after mothers go back to work to extend the amount of time a newborn is home with a parent.

More

Phillip Reese is The Bee’s data specialist and teaches at Sacramento State. Reach him at 916-321-1137 or 916-278-5420.