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Assembly Bill Adds 6 Weeks Paid Leave for School and College Employees

UPDATE: Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 568 on October 15, 2017. Governor Brown encouraged districts to consider participating in the State Disability Insurance program to provide employees with additional paid leave and expressed his belief that decisions regarding maternity leave pay are best resolved through the collective bargaining process. Governor Brown’s veto message for this bill can be accessed here.

ORIGINAL POST: Assembly Bill 568 would require all districts, charter schools, and community college districts in California to provide certificated, classified, and academic employees with at least 6 weeks of paid maternity leave. Under existing law, California school districts, charter schools, and community college Districts are required to provide certificated and classified employees with a leave of absence for pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, or recovery therefrom. However, as the law currently stands the maternity related leave is unpaid and to receive compensation, employees may utilize sick pay, vacation pay, or differential leave pay.

This bill would require governing boards of school districts, governing bodies of charter schools, and governing boards of community colleges to adopt rules and regulations granting at least six weeks of fully compensated leave for absences resulting from pregnancy, miscarriages, childbirth, or recovery therefrom provided that the employee is actually temporarily disabled from pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition.

Assembly Bill 568 states that an employee taking paid maternity shall not be required to use any accrued sick leave, disability leave, bonding leave, or vacation leave for the initial six week compensated leave period. The Bill allows employees to take their maternity leave prior to childbirth and continue after childbirth, and the date on which the leave begins and ends shall be determined by the employee and the employee’s physician.

Assembly Bill 568 was passed in the State Senate on September 6, 2017 and passed in the State Assembly on September 11, 2017. The Bill has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it within the next month.