For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 17, 2020
California — Today Governor Newsom took a long overdue and important step to expand paid leave in California by signing The Ensuring Job Protection for Paid Family Leave Act (SB 1383) into law.
Paid leave is integral to the fight for reproductive freedom. The Ensuring Job Protection for Paid Family Leave Act marks a major victory for paid leave and workers’ rights advocates who have been pushing for the reforms outlined in SB 1383 for over a decade. While California has historically been a leader on reproductive freedom, five other states—Oregon, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island—already guarantee universal job protection for paid family leave.
SB 1383 — authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and championed by NARAL Pro-Choice California — extends job protection to millions of Californians who pay into the Paid Family Leave program, but are unable to access it for fear of losing their job. Currently, 40% of California workers do not qualify for job protection when they need to take leave because of an illness or injury or to care for a family member, and 25% have no job protection when they take leave to bond with a new child.
In response, NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Hovis, who attended today’s virtual bill signing surrounded by family, released the following statement:
“NARAL Pro-Choice California and our 295,000 members statewide applaud Governor Newsom for signing The Ensuring Job Protection for Paid Family Leave Act (SB 1383) into law. This law marks a long overdue step toward expanding access to paid leave and promoting healthy, stable families by ensuring parents can use the benefits they have paid into while also maintaining the security of their jobs. Meaningful, job-protected paid family leave is essential for reproductive freedom, and SB 1383 will finally guarantee that the vast majority of Californians do not have to risk their job and livelihood in order to care for their family.”
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.