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California guarantees family leave at small businesses

California's economy depends on one of the most diverse workforces in the world, and workers and managers alike need to come to work and get their jobs done. This extends across the wide breadth of industries for which the state plays host.

Workers need to balance their vital tasks with family and, in some cases, children. This is why family leave is enshrined at the federal and state levels for full-time employees. The California statewide standard for new parents is 12 weeks of unpaid leave, during and at which a parent may return to work.

This rarely extended as a public regulation to a rising number of part-time and contract employees, costing some new parents in California thousands of dollars in wages or, in some cases, their jobs. An estimated 2.75 million small business employees across the Golden State were also stranded between parenthood and careers or putting food on the table.

California Senate Bill 63 now extends legal protection for up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for new parents working at businesses with fewer than 50 employees. This comes more than 20 years after large business employees received the same guarantee.

Employees or managers who have been denied family leave or feel they have been the victims of other employment law violations may need to speak up legally to have their rights recognized.

An attorney with a specialty in employment law is often a recommendable step in deciding the best path for employment rights, such as mediation, settlements or court actions.

Source: Sacramento Bee, "California extends family leave to millions of small business workers," Taryn Luna and Christopher Cadelago, Oct. 12, 2017

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