Paid Family Leave Benefits in California

California is often considered a progressive state in how it provides for its residents.  One of those programs is the Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program for those who can’t work because of family care constraints.

The PFL is entirely funded by worker contributions via the State Disability Insurance (SDI) Programs.  Employers do not have to pay their employees’ salaries while they are on leave, nor does the PFL guarantee employees employment when their leave expires. However, there may be other programs where the employees take family leave and are entitled to pay, such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and/or the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).

PFL is part of the State Disability Insurance Program.  Workers covered by SDI are covered by the benefit.  They are entitled to up to 60 or 70 percent of their regular wages via a claim they submit to the California Employment Department (EDD).

According to the EDD website, the eligibility requirements for the PFL are as follows:

  • An employee may file a claim for PFL benefits through the Employment Development Department (www.edd.ca.gov) to care for a seriously ill family member, or to bond with a newborn child, or a newly-adopted or foster child. A medical certificate is required when a PFL claim is filed to provide care for a seriously ill family member.
  • All private-sector employees contribute wages towards the PFL program. A small percentage of wages are deducted from the employee’s paycheck and deposited into the SDI fund.
  • An employee’s weekly benefit amount is about 60 to 70% (depending on income) of wages earned 5 to 18 months before your claim start-date up to the maximum weekly benefit amount ($1,300).
  • amount is calculated by dividing your weekly benefit amount by seven. The maximum benefit amount is calculated by multiplying your weekly benefit amount by 8 or adding the total wages subject to SDI tax paid in your base period.
  • An employee who is entitled to leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act must take PFL concurrent with leave taken under those acts.

For more information or participate in the PFL program, contact EDD at its website:

California Paid Family Leave | California EDD or edd.ca.gov/disability/paid-family-leave/

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