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State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson want to build on newly-signed Paid Family Leave Law

Jessica Paterson

A new law increases the amount of compensation California workers can receive during disability or paid family leave. 

Employees who take time off for pregnancy, injury, or to care for family members can currently receive 55 percent of their salary from a state fund.

The measure Governor Jerry Brown signed today [Monday] raises the rate to 60 percent in 2018, or 70 percent for low-wage workers.

The money comes from payroll withholdings. Employees could see the amount of their salaries withheld rise by a tenth of a percent after the law kicks in.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara was a co-author of the bill and has a bill of her own that she's pushing in the Senate which focuses on new parents.

Jackson's bill calls for a guaranteed 12-weeks of job protection for both maternity and paternity leave.

"My bill addresses protecting their jobs so that they can take that time without fear of being fired when they come back," said Jackson.

And that's the case currently, even under the newly-signed bill for employees at companies with fewer than 50 employees.

"The focus is on trying to expand the amount of people, the percent of California's workforce that will be eligible to take 12-weeks off, and to create a more supportive environment for families who are dealing with newborns and wanting to have that time to bond with them," said Jackson.

The bill has been introduced and is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday with the Labor and Industrial Relations committee.