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East County News Service

April 12, 2016 (Sacramento) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB908 into law, expanding paid family leave for Californians. The Governor says he wants to provide a “more decent and empathetic kind of community.”

The new law, which will take effect in 2018, will require employers to pay 60% of wages to most workers taking family leave, up to a maximum of $1,100 a week. Low-income workers earning $20,000 a year or less will receive 70% of their wages.

The measure raises the 55% limit previously established in California’s original paid leave law, which allows workers to take off up to six weeks from work to care for an ill family member or bond with a new child.

The measure passed with overwhelming support from Democrats, but opposition from many Republicans.  The California Chamber of Commerce remained neutral, since the measure is funded through employee contributions.

Among San Diego’s Assembly representatives, Democrats Lorena Gonzalez, Toni Atkins and Shirley Weber voted in favor, while Republicans Brian Jones and Rocky Chavez voted against.

President Barack Obama praised the action and urged Congress to support similar protections for workers nationwide.” "Congress needs to catch up to California - and to countries all over the world - by acting to guarantee paid family leave to all Americans," the President said.

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