Senator Wiener’s Statement on San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Law Going into Effect

January 3, 2017

San Francisco – Today Senator Scott Wiener offered the following statement about San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Law going into effect. He authored the law last year as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

“I’m so proud that San Francisco is leading the country in requiring fully paid parental leave for the people who work in our great city,” said Senator Wiener. “There are so many challenges for people trying to raise families, and choosing between taking care of a newborn and collecting a paycheck should not be one of them. I hope this law challenges our nation, states, and other cities across the country to find ways to expand paid parental leave for workers and families, especially in this time of rising income inequality.”

The Paid Parental Leave Law authored by Senator Wiener when he was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in April of last year. It made San Francisco the first city in the country to guarantee fully paid parental leave for workers.

Under current California law, employees taking parental leave receive up to 55% of their wages for six weeks through state disability. Senator Wiener’s ordinance requires that employers pay their employees the remaining balance of their income (45%), so that for up to six weeks of leave the employee will receive his or her full wages. The legislation applies to both parents and to both births and adoptions. The law applies to employees who work 8 hours a week or more, and who have worked at a company for at least 180 days.

Starting on January 1, 2017, employers with 50 or more employees must comply with the law. On July 1, the law expands to include employers with 35 or more employees, and on January 1, 2018, all employers with 20 or more employees will be included. If an employer provides benefits that equal or exceed this requirement, the ordinance would not apply.