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California’s family leave bill is now law for small business.

The New Parent Leave Act builds on existing law, allowing eligible employees at companies with 20 to 49 employees to take three months of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, with the guarantee that their jobs will remain open for them. The time can be combined with the state’s separate, paid family leave insurance program, which replaces as much as 70 percent of lost wages, thus giving California workers at small businesses a version of the paid, job-protected benefits enjoyed by employees of larger businesses.

Passed last year amid intense lobbying by worker and family advocates and state business interests, the new protections cover an additional 16 percent of the state’s labor force, or about 2.7 million more workers. Parents may take the leave within one year of the child’s adoption, foster-care placement or birth.

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