The United States is one of the few nations where employers are not nationally mandated to provide paid parental leave, according to data amassed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, cities like San Francisco have implemented paid leave ordinances requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide supplemental income.  The state will require smaller employers to comply later this year.

If you run a small business in San Francisco, it’s important to understand how this applies to you so that you can be in compliance. You’ll also need to plan in advance in case you have one or more employees on paid leave. Whether the law already applies to your business or your compliance date is approaching, here are a few things you need to know about the Paid Parental Leave for Bonding with New Child Ordinance (PPLO).

Dates of Compliance

The vast majority of employers were required to follow the mandates of the PPLO on January 1st of 2017. That means businesses in San Francisco with 50+ employees must provide supplemental income to eligible workers. The ordinance requires businesses with 35+ employees to comply starting July 1,2017.  And businesses with 20+ employees follow on January 1, 2018.

Your Responsibilities

For up to six weeks, employers must pay qualifying employees the difference between the amount the California Paid Family Leave program pays the worker and the employee’s total salary. Since California’s benefits are 55 percent of the employee’s salary, employers will need to be prepared to pay 45 percent. However, there is a cap placed on the combined amount an employee can be paid. This would affect employees making $110,902 or more per year.

Eligibility

Not every employee is eligible for this benefit under the PPLO. An employee must have been on the payroll for at least 180 days before the family leave begins. Employees must also complete at least 40 percent of their work in the city of San Francisco. Employees must also qualify under the California Paid Family Leave’s stipulation. This stipulation indicates that the employee is taking time off “to bond with a new child entering the family.”

Planning ahead

Even if you don’t have an employee who will soon be eligible for paid leave, it’s important to plan ahead. This can include:

  • Establishing workflows and project management tracking to maintain momentum.
  • Cross-train employees to take over each other’s duties before someone takes leave.
  • Formalizing transition of responsibilities so no work falls through the cracks.
  • Having detailed job descriptions for each position so you can reallocate duties temporarily.