A proposal to expand the state's parental leave protections to small-business employees passed the state Senate, despite Gov. Jerry Brown's opposition to a very similar measure last year.
SB 63, from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) advanced to the Assembly Tuesday on a party-line vote, with all 13 Senate Republicans voting against the measure.
"Two-point-seven million more Californians will benefit from this measure," said Jackson. "Family lives have changed dramatically in recent decades, but our policies have remained frozen in time.”
The legislation would mandate that businesses with between 20 and 50 employees give their workers 12 weeks to spend with a new child, and guarantee their employment when they return. Currently, those protections are required only of businesses with more than 50 employees. The bill does not require the leave to be paid.
SB 63 was viewed as important by a pair of powerful Capitol constituencies. Its passage was a top priority for the Legislative Women's Caucus, while the California Chamber of Commerce lobbied for its defeat, labeling it a "job killer."