New California law to expand job-protected maternity leave

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Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) that will allow millions more California parents to take time off to care for a newborn without fear of losing their jobs.

California women will have more tools to fight pay discrimination, more resources to buy diapers and pay for childcare, and more opportunities for parental leave under bills signed Thursday by Gov.

At a public signing ceremony at a Sacramento nonprofit aimed at helping homeless women, Brown touted the new laws as "California showing the way".

"The actions today will have a real difference on women, children and families", Brown said in a press conference attended by some of the Capitol's most influential women.

The state now requires companies with 50 or more employees to give their workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

It comes as momentum is growing in California and nationwide for stronger family leave policies in both the public and private sectors.

Research shows the first 12 weeks of life are critical to a child's early brain development, and parental leave is associated with improved maternal and child health, a longer duration of breastfeeding, and improved mental health in new mothers. SB 63 will expand that protection to workers at companies with at least 20 employees.

A number of the measures previously had been vetoed by the governor, such as the family leave bill by Sen.

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