Californians Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Paid Family Leave Program

State Elected Officials, Labor Leaders, Community Advocates, Parents and Caregivers Join Together to Celebrate Nation’s First Paid Family Leave Program, Highlight Need for Increased Awareness

Sacramento, CA—In a press conference on Tuesday, July 1, state elected officials, researchers, parents and caregivers will join community advocates to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of California’s Paid Family Leave program—the first-of-its-kind family leave insurance program in the nation. Since being implemented in July 2004, the Paid Family leave program has helped more than 1.6 million working Californians take up to six weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child or care for a sick family member. Starting on July 1, California workers can use the benefit to care for additional family members—siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and parents-in-law. This is the first expansion of the benefit since the law was implemented in 2004. The California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, is sponsoring the event with California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), and the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.

Legislation has been introduced nationally (FAMILY Act) that is modeled on California’s program. Despite the importance of this program statewide and nationally, many eligible Californians remain unaware of this program. Nearly every private-sector worker in California contributes a portion of their salary to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) system that disburses benefits, but only a fraction ever make claims. In counties like Los Angeles, only 31.4 percent of eligible workers are aware of the program. Awareness is lowest among low-income workers, hourly workers and Latinos.

Research reports from the Employment Development Department and the California Senate Office of Research will be shared with media during Tuesday’s event.

WHAT: Press conference with opportunities for one-on-one interviews, plus anniversary themed visuals. Copies of Paid Family Leave research reports will also be available.

WHO: Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Labor Secretary David Lanier, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Ann O’Leary, Art Pulaski, Sharon Terman, and others

WHEN: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 (Media Check-in: 9:00am; Event: 9:30am-10:30am)

WHERE: Capitol Building, North Steps, Sacramento (to view personal stories of Paid Family Leave, go to

Anastasia Ordonez




About California Work & Family Coalition

The California Work & Family Coalition, a project of Next Generation, is an alliance of community organizations, unions and non-profits protecting every California worker’s right to put their family first. We work together to promote work family policies that help parents, caregivers, children and families thrive.

Learn more at and on Twitter @WorkFamilyCA.

About California Labor Federation

The California Labor Federation is dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of working people and their families for the betterment of California’s communities.

About Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center

Founded in 1916, the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center protects the rights and economic self-sufficiency of low-income workers by providing free legal services, education and advocacy. LAS-ELC’s Work and Family Program advocates for the employment rights of pregnant workers, new parents and employees facing family medical crises. Learn more at and on Twitter @LASELC.

About Next Generation

Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.

Learn more at, and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.