The signing ceremony was attended by members of the California Legislative Women's Caucus.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a package of bills meant to address women's and family issues, including expanding unpaid family leave and helping parents on welfare afford diapers.
"With more women in the workforce, and more parents struggling to balance work and family responsibilities, our policies must catch up to the realities of our economy and the daily lives of working families", she said.
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In response to these concerns, SB 63 includes a two-year pilot program within the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to allow employers and employees to mediate disputes under this new parental leave program prior to the filing of litigation.
Companies with 50 or more employees are already required to provide 12 weeks of leave. Brown vetoed a similar bill previous year. SB63 requires businesses with 20 to 49 employees to offer parental leave. The workers already pay into the state's family leave program, but often have a hard time accessing it because they feared losing their jobs if they took the time off. "Can you imagine being able to eliminate a disease or health care problem just by giving a person the opportunity love and nurture a newborn". Among them is a requirement that public schools with high populations of low-income students provide free tampons and menstrual products in women's and girl's restrooms.
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