featured graphic for the California Budget and Policy Center

California’s Paid Family Leave Program is out of reach for workers with very low wages

California’s paid family leave program helps workers balance career and caregiving commitments by providing up to six weeks of paid time off to attend to a sick family member or bond with a newborn or adopted child. But many workers are unable to use the paid family leave program that they contribute to because the payments they receive are too low to cover their bills.

Among the findings in a new fact sheet from Senior Policy Analyst Kristin Schumacher:

  • Of those workers that were eligible for paid family leave, 36.5% were workers with less than $20,000 in annual wages.
  • Workers in this same wage bracket made up only 16% of those utilizing paid family leave in 2018.

As updates to California’s paid family leave program are discussed as part of Governor Newsom’s 2020-21 budget proposal, learn what steps policymakers can take to eliminate barriers for workers earning low wages. This includes expanding job protections and implementing a more progressive payment rate structure that fully replaces wages for lower-wage workers.

This article was released by the California Budget & Policy Center.