What You Need to Know About California Paid Family Leave

California is a leader in employee benefits, and California Paid Family Leave (PFL) is a key program that supports working families. This program provides eligible employees with partial wage replacement while they take time off for qualified reasons. If you’re an employee in California, understanding PFL is crucial. This article will answer all your questions about the program, including eligibility, benefits, and how to apply.

What is Paid Family Leave?

Paid family leave is a state-mandated program that provides employees with time off work for qualifying events, while receiving a portion of their wages. It’s important to distinguish California Paid Family Leave from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While FMLA grants unpaid leave for certain qualifying reasons, PFL offers financial assistance during that leave.

California Paid Family Leave FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about California Paid Family Leave:

  1. Does California have paid family leave? Yes, California has one of the most comprehensive paid family leave programs in the United States.
  2. How long is paid family leave in California? Eligible employees can receive up to eight weeks of partial wage replacement within a 12-month period.
  3. Who qualifies for paid family leave in California? You may qualify for PFL if you’ve worked for a covered employer for at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months. Qualifying reasons for leave include:
  1. Connecting with a new child (birth, adoption, or foster care placement)
  2. Caring for a seriously ill family member (spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, domestic partner, or registered domestic partner’s relatives)
  3. Participating in a qualifying military event for a close family member

How much does pay family leave pay in California?

PFL benefits replace between 60% and 70% of your wages, depending on your income level. Amounts of benefits can be as high as or as low as specified.

  • I need to know how to apply for Paid Family Leave in California.
  • You can apply for PFL benefits online or by mail through the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
  • Is paid family leave taxable in California? Yes, PFL benefits are considered taxable income.
  • Who pays for California Paid Family Leave? PFL receives its funding from payroll deductions made by employees.
  • Should I opt out of paid family leave? It’s generally not recommended to opt out of PFL. The program provides valuable financial security during a time of need.


California Paid Family Leave is a valuable program that supports working families during critical times. Understanding your eligibility and how the program works can ensure you can access these benefits when needed. By providing financial assistance for qualified leave, PFL helps employees balance work and family responsibilities, ultimately contributing to a more productive and satisfied workforce.

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