This Week: 24th Anniversary of FMLA, EDD’s “Moments Matter” PFL Media Campaign, and the Reintroduction of the FAMILY Act

This week is chock full of events. On Monday, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) launched its media campaign to raise awareness of Paid Family Leave (PFL). Entitled “Moments Matter,” this campaign highlights crucial moments in life when parents and caregivers can use the partial wage replacement benefits to bond with a new, adopted, or foster child, or care for seriously ill loved ones. Members of the Coalition helped secure funding for this campaign and provided input to the EDD as the campaign was developed. You can read more about that here. We are very excited about the final results! Continue reading

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Looks to California for Benefits of Paid Family Leave

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a report a few weeks ago which analyzed how paid family leave (PFL) benefits low-income families. California was the first state to offer PFL, which expands on the federal Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. It remains one of only three states that offers it today. Fittingly, California's PFL program is often cited as a model for other states, which makes this report all the more important. For example, did you know that 90% of PFL claims in California are from low-income parents (earning less than $12,000 per year), but only about 59% of all eligible mothers use it? What's more, only 7% of all PFL claims are made by lower-wage fathers, compared to 47% of men in the highest income quartile. What can we do to help more low-income moms and dads access PFL? Continue reading

Keeping the Fight to Help Working Families - January 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year! We hope you all got to recharge and spend time relaxing with loved ones at the end of 2016. Here is a look back at some victories we had last year, and exciting opportunities to continue protecting and supporting working families. Continue reading

Expanding Parental Leave and Expanding Our Work - June 2016 Newsletter

SB 1166 – THE NEW PARENT LEAVE BILL - PASSED THE SENATE! Great news: Our Coalition priority bill, SB 1166 (Jackson) passed the Senate! SB 1166, the New Parent Leave bill, will expand the number of new parents who can take leave to bond with a new child – birth, adoption, or foster. Right now, over 40% of employees don’t have job protection for bonding leave. Studies show parental bonding is crucial to the well-being and healthy development of infants and young children. SB 1166 would make our leave laws more equitable and boost family economic security and employment. In spite of the clear benefits of this bill to children and families, the California Chamber of Commerce is mobilizing opposition claiming that expanding this right would be a burden on business. Our Assemblymembers need to hear from us on the importance of this bill. Join us as we lobby our representatives in the Assembly this summer. Contact us at if you would like to join a delegation in Sacramento or in your home district.  Continue reading

California Families Need Bonding Time for New Parents: Pass SB 1166

Way too often, I find myself saying "Congratulations!" and "I'm sorry" in the same conversation with new and expecting parents when they call about Paid Family Leave: "Congratulations" on expecting a child and "I'm sorry" when they tell me their employer is not allowing them to keep their job if they go on leave. Continue reading

Being There When it Matters Most - May 2016 Newsletter

This year the California Work & Family Coalition set out to boost equity, awareness, and utilization of CA Paid Family Leave; to increase family-friendly benefits and fix policy gaps; and to shift cultural norms around work-family policies. Now, just 4 months into 2016, we have a lot of milestones to celebrate. Continue reading

This Week in Paid Leave: AB 908 is On its Way to Governor Brown!

Great News: California Work & Family Coalition priority bill AB 908 (Gomez) passed the state legislature and is on its way to the Governor's desk!  AB 908 will help more low income workers access Paid Family Leave by raising the wage replacement rates to 70% (60% for middle-high income earners). Coalition members are sending letters of support to the Governor (e-mail us if you would like information on how to help). This bill will make a huge difference to families in California and to other states and localities working on passing Paid Family Leave. Continue reading

This Week in Paid Leave: Happy Anniversary FMLA!

  We celebrate the 23rd anniversary of President Clinton's signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law by joining our voices together to call for the next step: a national Paid Family Leave program for all. It's definitely time. Continue reading

Making Strides Toward Paid Family Leave for All

On Wednesday, I had the great luck to participate in a passion-filled Paid Family Leave task force meeting in San Francisco. The group was coordinated by Supervisor Katy Tang's office. My favorite part of the meeting was hearing  from young women activists who run from mystified to outraged that parents and caregivers in our country don't have the same protections and benefits that their counterparts do all over the world. It's a healthy reaction to our current reality. Righteous indignation - especially on behalf of others - can be the first step toward positive change.   Continue reading