Please find arguments below for and against SB 406. The Family Medical Leave Act provides 12 weeks for employers with 50 or more employees. This bill will reduce that to 25 employees. It should be noted that the author originally had 5 employees and has amended to 25. This is on the Senate Floor so I need to know as soon as possible what you think of bill.
ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT: According to proponents, the restrictions on family
caregiving under CFRA fail to account for the diversity of California
households and the importance of caregiving by extended family members.
Proponents bring attention to various study findings including: a study of
Alzheimer's patients which found that 40% of caregivers were not covered under
the narrow definition of family in CFRA, one study that found that nearly 20%
of primary caregivers for chronically disabled individuals are neither the
spouse nor the child of the person receiving care, and another finding that one
in twelve caregivers provides care to a parent-in-law, grandparent, or
Proponents also note that California's PFL insurance program provides an
important partial wage replacement when an employee takes time off work to care
for a seriously ill family member. However, according to proponents because PFL
does not provide any job protection some workers who pay into this fund never
access its benefits because they would risk losing their job if they took any
Proponents point to a 2011 study which found that among those who were aware of
PFL and needed leave but did not apply for benefits, 38% said they did not
apply because they feared they would be fired or face other negative
consequences at work. Proponents argue that to make sure the state's PFL
program ensures family members are cared for employees need to be able to take
leave without risking their jobs. Proponents contend that SB 406 will provide
the critical job protection for workers who want to take paid family leave by
amending CFRA to expand the definition of family to match PFL and to lower the
employer threshold so that more workers are covered.
ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION: Opponents argue that SB 406 will overwhelm small
businesses by mandating businesses with 25 or more employees to provide a
12-week protected leave of absence. Opponents contend that this will put a
greater burden on both small and large businesses while creating an even
further disconnect from the FMLA. Opponents argue that this creates a burden for
the employer especially if he or she has multiple employees already out of work
on protected leaves and because the employer must hire and train a temporary
employee to cover the employees' duties, pay an existing employee a higher wage
or overtime to take on the duties, or suffer decreased productivity until the
existing employee out on leave is ready to return to work.
Additionally, opponents argue that expanding the family members for whom an
employee may take a 12-week protected leave of absence to care for to include a
grandparent, a grandchild, and siblings will negatively impact California
employers. Opponents argue that as these family members in SB 406 are not
covered under the FMLA, this bill will potentially provide a California
employer with an obligation to provide up to 24 weeks of protected leave.
Specifically,opponents argue that under SB 406 an employee could utilize his or
her 12 weeks of CFRA to care for the serious medical condition of a grandparent
as well as still be entitled to another 12-week protected leave of absence
under FMLA for his or her own medical condition or the medical condition of his
or her spouse, child or parent.
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