New Rule: Six Weeks of Paid Parental Leave in San Francisco

Maggie and DaxBy Constantine Mittendorf

Yesterday, San Francisco became the first city in the nation to require six weeks of full paid leave for new parents.  If you or work in or manage a restaurant in the City by the Bay, here are a few things you should know:

  • The law applies for both mothers and fathers
  • It includes newborn and adopted children
  • Part-time employees who work at least 8 hours a week are covered

  • Employees must work for at least 90 days prior to taking leave
  • The employee may be required to take two weeks of unused vacation before receiving the benefit
  • California State Disability Insurance (SDI) already provides 55% of worker’s wages for family leave up to six weeks (up to $ 6,774 total).  The ordinance requires employers to pay the remaining 45% of wages for up to 6 weeks (up to $5,542 total)
  • Federal Law allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a new baby
  • The law takes effect in stages beginning Jan. 2017 for companies with over 50 employees, and eventually includes all companies with over 20 employees
  • The rule must be posted


Scott Wiener, the City Supervisor who authored the new law, reasoned that while most employees are already covered under California SDI family leave, poorer workers often don’t use it.  In practice the lowest-paid workers are often excluded because they cannot afford to earn only half of their salary.  The ordinance allows these workers to get 100% pay so they can afford to take parenting leave.

For a full reading of the ordinance, see San Francisco Police Code Sec. 3300H.1-14.

Photo courtesy of my wife and newborn child.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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