California’s First-in-the-Nation Paid Leave Program is Now More Equitable for Small Businesses and their Low-wage Workers
Statement by Bianca Blomquist, California Policy Director of Small Business Majority, lauding Governor Newsom’s decision to sign SB 951 and expand paid family leave
“On September 30, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 951 (SB 951), historic legislation that brings greater equity to California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs. We applaud the governor’s efforts to improve policies that allow small business owners and their employees to take the time they need to care for a family member, regardless of their income.
Small business owners know it makes good business sense to take care of their employees, as it’s crucial to retaining a productive and talented workforce. In fact, close to 100 California small business owners and business organizations, including the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, signed their names to a letter urging Governor Newsom to make worker-funded PFL and SDI more accessible to California’s low-wage workers.
Our polling reveals that more than 6 in 10 small business owners say they support a proposal to increase the wage replacement amount to 90% for low-wage employees and 75% for everyone else. California’s PFL program can help to level the playing field for small business owners who want to provide quality jobs, but Californians recognize that more could be done to create healthcare equity. We echoed this sentiment in the September 22 celebration of 20 years after the enactment of the Paid Leave Program. SB 951 creates that equity and facilitates greater wage replacement rates to ensure this critical program provides a living wage for participants.
We are proud to support a bill that promotes equitable access to affordable healthcare and allows a more significant percentage of the workforce to take care of a loved one without threats to their financial security. By signing SB 951, Governor Newsom sent a message to small business employees and entrepreneurs that he prioritizes paid leave and values working families and their businesses.”
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 85,000 small businesses and 1,500 business and community organizations to deliver resources to entrepreneurs and advocate for public policy solutions that promote inclusive small business growth. Our work is bolstered by extensive research and deep connections with the small business community that enable us to educate stakeholders about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.