Governor Brown Vetoes Senate Bill 654 – Baby Bonding Leave

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required more employers in California to provide baby-bonding leave to new parents. The New Parent Leave Bill, Senate Bill 654, would have imposed obligations on small employers with as few as 20 employees to provide leave for new parents to bond with their child.

Under current law in California, employers with five or more employees are required to provide up to four months of leave to women who become disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition. Existing law also provides eligible employees-male and female-with 12 weeks of baby-bonding leave if their employer has at least 50 employees.

Impact on Small Businesses
In Brown’s letter to the state senate explaining his reasons for vetoing the bill, he mentioned the importance of parent-child bonding. “I am concerned, however, about the impact of this leave, particularly on small businesses, and the potential liability that could result,” he said.