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Next Generation’s California Work & Family Coalition Applauds Expansion of Paid Family Leave

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2013

Contact:
ANASTASIA ORDONEZ
media@thenextgeneration.org
415-523-8017

SHARON TERMAN
sterman@las-elc.org
415-864-8848

Next Generation’s California Work & Family Coalition Applauds Expansion of Paid Family Leave

New legislation will protect health and well-being of more California families, and help build a stronger economy

San Francisco, CA—The California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, applauds Governor Brown’s signing of SB 770 into law, because it will extend Paid Family Leave benefits to more California families when they need to take time off from work to care for seriously ill loved ones. The Paid Family Leave Act provides California workers with up to six weeks of partial wage replacement to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child. This new legislation will expand the definition of family under PFL to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and parents-in-law.

Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and the California Work & Family Coalition were part of the statewide campaign to pass California’s Paid Family Leave law in 2002, and both have worked together to pave the way for this groundbreaking legislation, which will benefit California families with diverse care-giving needs.

“Many families have to make a difficult choice between losing their economic security and tending to a loved one,” said Ann O’Leary, Vice President and Director of the Children & Families program at Next Generation. “Paid Family Leave has been helpful in allowing new parents to care for newborns or spouses to care for sick partners, but many of us also find ourselves having to care for ill sisters, brothers, or other extended family members. We shouldn’t have to risk financial instability in order to help our loved ones during times of need. SB 770 is a step forward for California and will help ensure that our communities remain strong.”

“We are thrilled that SB 770 is now law,” said Sharon Terman, Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, which sponsored the bill.  “Workers in California contribute a portion of each paycheck to the Paid Family Leave program.  But many workers cannot access the benefits because their relatives are excluded. The expansion of Paid Family Leave will allow California workers to care for close family members without jeopardizing their economic well-being.”

Lisa Bautista, who was a caregiver for her grandmother and lives with her younger brother says, “I am thankful to Governor Brown for signing SB 770.   My younger brother is currently my roommate.  I would like to know that however our lives work out that we could continue to be there for each other as we have all our lives!” 

California has the second highest percentage of multigenerational households in the country. Also, nearly half of Californians are single and their closest relative may be a sibling or other extended relative. Like Paid Family Leave, SB 770 will be entirely worker-funded.

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About California Work & Family Coalition

The California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, is an alliance of community organizations, unions and non-profits protecting every California worker’s right to put their family first. We work together to promote work family policies that help parents, caregivers, children and families thrive.

Learn more at www.workfamilyca.org and on Twitter @WorkFamilyCA.

About Next Generation

Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans:  The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.

Learn more at www.thenextgeneration.org, www.facebook.com/thenextgeneration.org and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.

About the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center  

Founded in 1916, the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center protects the rights and economic self-sufficiency of working poor people by providing free legal services, education, and advocacy. LAS-ELC’s Work and Family Project advocates for the employment rights of pregnant workers, new parents, and employees facing family medical crises.

Learn more at www.las-elc.org, www.facebook.com/LegalAidSocietyEmploymentLawCenter and on Twitter @laselc.

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