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Family Leave Benefits Expanded for Military-Related Purposes

Currently, under California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program, Paid Family Leave provides up to six (6) weeks of partial wage replacement to employees who take leaves of absence for specified purposes, including:

  1. to take care of a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner, or
  2. to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption. 

As of January 1, 2021, a third will be added to the list to cover a "qualifying exigency" related to the covered active duty or call to the covered acted duty of an individual's spouse, domestic partner, child or parent in the United States Armed Forces that is deployed in a foreign country. This addition to California's Paid Family Leave comes as a result of Senate Bill 1123 (SB 1123) passed in late 2018.

Under SB 1123, a "qualifying exigency" is defined to include a long list of issues, such as addressing any issue that arises within seven (7) calendar days from a call to order; attending an official ceremony, program or event sponsored by the military that is related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty; arranging for alternative childcare, providing childcare for the child, and attending meetings with staff at the child's school; and making financial and legal arrangements to address the absence of the active member.

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