Personal Injury, Probate, Employment, & Complex Litigation


Family Leave

In April of 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed in some changes to existing disability and family leave time in California. The major changes do not come into effect until January 1, 2018.

Under the current scheme, when you receive temporary disability benefits, you take your quarterly wage, multiply it by .55, and divide that amount by 13. This formula is designed to give you 55% of your weekly check (there are 13 weeks in a quarter) in disability benefits. However, the total possible amount you can possibly receive in benefits is $336. Meaning if you make over $7,941.82 in a quarter ($31,767.27 annually) you will not receive any greater benefits.

The disability benefits calculation is going to be different starting in 2018. The calculations become more complicated, but the highest benefit you can receive is actually tied to the Labor Code section 4453 amount which is currently $435. The calculation for the highest earning bracket is 60% of quarterly amount divided by 13 (again, to get the weekly figure). That means, the current highest amount you can make before the amount of benefits you receive are capped is $9,425 a quarter (or $37,700 annually).

But why does the disability benefits calculation matter to family leave time? Well, under Unemployment Insurance Code section 3303 may take time off to care for a disabled close relative (as defined under the code) and receive disability pay for that time taken off. Under the current scheme, you must wait a 7 day period before you can receive benefits, however, under the changes that come into effect in 2018, the 7 day wait period is eliminated.