SB 63 (Jackson) would prohibit an employer from refusing to allow an employee with more than 12 months and 1,250 hours of service to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement; and would prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for group health care coverage for any employee who does so.
AAP Positional Letter
February 24, 2017
The Honorable Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Capitol, Room 2032
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4919
RE: SB 63 (Jackson): Unlawful Employment Practice: Parental Leave
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Senator Jackson:
I am writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, to let you know that we strongly support your proposed legislation SB 63 (Jackson). SB 63 (Jackson) would prohibit an employer from refusing to allow an employee who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer over a 12-month period from taking up to twelve weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement, and would ensure that this employee not lose healthcare coverage during their leave.
While California already has a Paid Family Leave policy, many workers do not take advantage of it due to fear over losing their jobs or healthcare at a time when they must provide for their family. This is deeply unfortunate, as a child’s health and well-being is greatly affected by the presence or absence of a parent or caregiver, especially at the earliest stages of development. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants not be placed in childcare until they are at least 12 weeks old, as newborns experience rapid developmental changes during this period and are at greater risk of developing severe, difficult-to-detect illness.
SB 63 (Jackson) would strengthen California’s parental leave laws by ensuring that no employee with the requisite minimum service time could be fired or lose their health care coverage for taking the time to care for the newest members of their family. This would represent a boon to the health and well-being of children across the state, who would benefit from the full, undistracted presence of a loving adult in the first months of their lives or family placements.
Pediatricians across the state support SB 63 (Jackson). We thank you for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Susan Wu, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne