January 14, 2019
According to recent news stories, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) may introduce a proposal in his annual budget calling for extending the state’s existing paid family leave from the current 6 weeks to 6 months. Governor Newsom’s proposal is not expected to address how to finance the expanded paid family leave; the impact of long absences on California employers and what could happen to the program if the state experiences a recession.
Reportedly, as a first step Governor Newsom will propose to expand leave from 6 weeks to a slightly longer time by requiring 3 months of trust fund solvency instead of 6. Thereafter, Governor Newsom is expected to appoint a task force to make recommendations on how to expand the leave to 6 months.
Impact on Employers and Employees
Governor Newsom is expected to release the proposal soon. In California, any tax increase must gain a supermajority of the House and Senate and many state politicians were elected touting fiscal prudence. It’s unclear if the proposal will become law, but California policymakers are likely to push for an extension of paid family leave duration.