Market Overview

New Parent Leave Act, SB 63 (Jackson), Signed by Governor Brown


On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 63 by
Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, which extends job protections to 2.6
million more Californians when they become parents. Under pre-existing
law, only parents working for very large employers have a right to take
up to 12 weeks of parental leave. Now, parents working for medium-size
employers will have basic job protections and be able to invest that
time in nurturing their newborn child.

"Once again, California is leading the nation to strengthen policies in
the key first months of each child's life. With his signature of SB 63
(Jackson), Governor Jerry Brown is acting on the science that proves
parental leave for these first key months of a child's life is not a
luxury to debate—it's a developmental necessity for each child," said
George Halvorson, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente and Chair of First 5
California. "Extending parental leave to 2.6 million Californians is an
investment of parents' time in each child's success and our shared
economic futures."

The latest medical research reveals the very first days and months of a
baby's life are crucial to each child's future. A baby's brain
development starts even before birth and accelerates during the first
three months of life, as well as throughout the first five years. What
parents and caregivers do for and with their babies in those first
months give children both a strong learning start and emotionally secure
underpinnings for life.

"This science is why First 5 California launched its Talk. Read. Sing.®
campaign, which is currently on the airwaves," said Camille Maben,
Executive Director of First 5 California. "We want every parent to
understand that their loving attention and interactions are the key to
their child's future success. Every parent needs this information to
take action during the first months of their child's life, and every
parent needs the ability to take the TIME for action."

A 2011 field poll found almost 2 out of 5 employees who were eligible to
use California's Paid Family Leave program did not apply for the state
benefit because they feared losing their job or other negative
consequences at work. This is a Paid Family Leave program that employees
fund with deductions from their very own paychecks, and these parents
didn't get to access the benefit because they had no job protections.

Because no parent should have to choose between the well-being of their
new child and their family's financial security and health care
coverage, First 5 California has partnered with Senator Jackson, Legal
Aid at Work, the California Employment Lawyers Association, and the
California Work and Family Coalition to sponsor and champion the passage
of SB 63.

First 5 California was established in 1998 when voters passed
Proposition 10, which taxes tobacco products to fund services for
children ages 0 to 5 and their families. First 5 California programs and
resources are designed to educate and support teachers, parents, and
caregivers in the critical role they play during a child's first five
years – to help California kids receive the best possible start in life
and thrive. For more information, please visit

View Comments and Join the Discussion!