September 28, 2020

The California Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) provides some wage replacements to employees who take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. It is important to note that while PFL provides payment benefits, it does not offer job protection.

Benefit Payments
Employees who are eligible for PFL can receive approximately 60 – 70% of their wages earned 5 – 18 months before the claim start date. Benefits may be earned for eight weeks, every 12-month period. This benefit applies to employees who have been with an employer for any length of time.

Employer Overview
An employer should be aware:

– That PFL provides up to eight weeks of partial paid leave.
– That PFL may be used to bond with a new child, either through birth, foster care, or adoption within the child’s first year. (This is offered to both mothers and/or fathers. PFL does not cover pregnancy, birth, or recovery.)
– That PFL may be used to care for an ill family member.
– That PFL may be used intermittently through a 12-month period, and need not be used consecutively.
– PFL payment begins on the first day of the employee’s leave.
– PFL is employee funded, and is not government assistance.
– Employees receive 60 – 70% of their normal wages on PFL.
– Even seasonal and part-time employees may qualify for PFL.

Once an employee has submitted a claim, the employer will receive a Notice to Employer of Paid Family Leave Claim Filed. The employer must then complete the notice, and send it back to the EDD within two working days. The employer must also report any wages the employee received or will receive while on PFL.

If an employee requests PFL, the employer must provide:

– The PFL brochure, and
– The Disability Insurance Provisions brochure.

New/Expecting Mother and Father Overview
California provides new and expecting mothers with two paid leave programs: PFL and disability insurance. Disability insurance covers the birth and recovery period, while PFL provides time to bond with the child. Employees’ reinstatement is protected during the period of actual disability; there is no reinstatement protection if the employee takes PFL.

PFL offers eight weeks of paid time off for both mothers and fathers to bond with a new child. These eight weeks may be broken up and taken in any sequence, so long as the full eight weeks are used during the first 12 months of the child’s life.

In order to receive PFL, an employee must submit a claim within 41 days from the date the PFL began. However, mothers transitioning from pregnancy-related disability to PFL will automatically be enrolled in benefits.

As stated above, it is important to understand that PFL does not provide job protection. To learn more about job protection, an employee should look into the:

Family and Medical Leave Act;

California Family Rights Act;

– New Parent Leave Act;

Fair Employment and Housing Act; and

Pregnancy Disability Leave.

Need more information?
ESKRIDGE LAW may be contacted by phone (310/303-3951), by fax (310/303-3952) or by email ( Please visit our website at

This article is based on the law as of the date posted at the top of the article. This article does not constitute the provision of legal advice, and does not by itself create an attorney-client relationship with Eskridge Law.