Maternity and paternity leave in California ensures that new parents have the opportunity to take time off to be with their child. There are certain laws and regulations that shape paternity and maternity leave. There are also certain eligibility requirements people who want to take leave must meet.
The California Family Rights Act stipulates eligible employees can take a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid job-protected leave during a 12-month period.
FMLA allows mothers to use 12 weeks for childbirth, for prenatal care and incapacity related to pregnancy, or for a serious health condition following childbirth. A spouse can use FMLA for the birth of a child and to care for a spouse incapacitated due to childbirth or pregnancy. The New Parent Leave Act allows for 12 weeks of leave as well, covering maternity leave for mothers and paternity leave for fathers. If an employee is covered under FMLA and the California Family Rights Act they will not qualify for New Parent Leave Act.
FMLA is the only federal legislation covering parental leave. Paternity leave varies across other states, usually consisting of vacation and sick leave.
Much like the variations in leave laws, if or how leave is paid from state to state varies. California is often considered a trailblazer in this regard, with the first paid leave act.