September 6, 2013
"Paid Family Leave in California: All is not Well," Susan Rose, Ms. Magazine blog: "When we pass good legislation in this arena we can't stop there," former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Rose writes regarding California's Paid Family Leave Act, which "provides unemployment disability compensation to employees who take time off from work to 'care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster.'" Rose cites statistics that show a lack of awareness about the law, including that "less than 45 percent of workers in [California] have adequate knowledge of the program" and that "less than 14 percent of women and 7 percent of men had taken advantage of PFLA." She implores stakeholders to "strategize" how to "educate the state work force and to encourage employees to use this hard-fought-for benefit." Two bills have been proposed to help address the issue, including one that would "prevent retaliation for use or attempted use of the California PFLA" and another that would "expand the definition of family to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings or parents-in-law," Rose writes. She concludes, "The passage of California PFLA makes the case for ongoing feminist advocacy, but follow up and evaluation is critical for legislation affecting our lives" (Rose, Ms. Magazine blog, 9/5).