Family and medical leaves are defined in federal laws, state codes and individual collective bargaining agreements. Your union local may also bargain improvements.


Sick leave: Classified can use up to seven days per year as personal necessity leave to care for parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren or other relatives living in the same household. Education Code 45207

Sick leave to bond with child: Thanks to CFT-sponsored AB 2393, as of January 1, 2017, new mothers and fathers can use up to 12 weeks of sick leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Employees without 12 weeks of accrued leave can use half-pay differential leave. No minimum work hours are required if an employee has at least a year on the job. Education Code 45196.1

Family School Partnership Act: Employees can take up to 40 hours per year (capped at eight hours per month) to participate in a child’s school or daycare activities, address a school or child care emergency, or enroll children in school. Leave is charged against vacation time. California Labor Code 230.8

Military Disability Leave: Provides up to 12 days during the first 12 months for treatment of a military service-connected disability of at least 30 percent. This applies to K-12 districts (unless merit system), but not community colleges. Education Code 45191.5

State Disability Insurance: Most classified employees are not part of SDI, but if a local union negotiates elective coverage, Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks leave at 55 percent of wages to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child, or a newly placed foster child.


Family and Medical Leave Act: Provides up to 12 weeks every 12 months to care for one’s own serious illness or injury, care for a spouse, minor child or parent, or bond with a new child. The job-protected leave can be intermittent (a day here and there), except for bonding with a child. Employers must maintain the employee’s health insurance during the leave. Employees are eligible if they have been employed for one year and have worked at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months. U.S. Code, Title 29, Chapter 28

Pregnancy Disability Leave: Provides up to four months leave for a pregnancy-related disability. The default leave duration is 10 to 12 weeks (four weeks before childbirth and up to eight weeks after delivery), but doctors may certify leave up to four months. This leave has no requirement for minimum hours worked or length of time employed. California Government Code 12945

CFT is still working on pregnancy disability

One CFT-sponsored bill in 2017 sought to provide women working in education up to six weeks of paid pregnancy disability leave without charging the woman’s sick leave bank. The Legislature passed AB 568, but the governor refused to sign it into law, saying other options were possible.