Firestein, Netsy


Netsy Firestein is the founder and Director of the Labor Project for Working Families.

Spread the Word on Paid Family Leave

By Netsy Firestein
Labor Project for Working Families

Imagine this. You pay into an insurance fund for years but never use its benefits – even when you need it the most – because you are not aware of your rights! That’s the case with many California workers.

Almost all California workers pay into the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) fund – an insurance plan that provides workers partial wage-replacement for pregnancy related and other disability leaves as well as the Paid Family Leave (PFL) program. The PFL program pays workers up to six weeks of their partial wages (55%) when they take time off to bond with a new child (including adoptive and foster children) or care for a seriously ill family member (parent, child, spouse or domestic partner).

The good news is that the PFL program works well for both workers and employers.

The bad news is that people who need PFL the most have little or no awareness about it.