California women will have more tools to fight pay discrimination, more resources to buy diapers and pay for childcare, and more opportunities for parental leave under bills signed Thursday by Gov. SB 63 will take effect January 1.
The state now requires companies with 50 or more employees to give their workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.
"This is a great victory for working parents and children in California, and I am grateful to the governor for signing this bill into law", said Jackson.
"The actions today will have a real difference on women, children and families", Brown said in a press conference attended by some of the Capitol's most influential women.
It comes as momentum is growing in California and nationwide for stronger family leave policies in both the public and private sectors.
Several other bills focus on health and wellness.
The bill does not require parental leave to be paid.
"We know that when a mother spends those critical first 12 weeks with their newborns, it reduces postpartum depression by a third", Jackson said.
A similar bill a year ago, SB 654, passed with bipartisan support but was vetoed by the governor, who expressed concerns about litigation.
An opinion poll, released this year from Small Business Majority and the Center for American Progress, showed that a majority of small business owners - 71 percent - support expanding job protection for family and medical leave to businesses with 20 or more employees.
- Cynthia Moreno for State Sen.