Legal Update Memo No. 35-2018 – Governor Signs Bill Amending Partial Pay During Parental Leave (AB 2012) (K-12)

Download pdf: 35-2018 – Governor Signs Bill Amending Partial Pay During Parental Leave (AB 2012) (NLK-SHS)

Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 2012 on September 30, 2018, amending “parental leave” pay for certificated and classified employees of school districts and classified employees of county offices of education,[1] effective January 1, 2019.[2]

Existing law allows employees of school districts and county offices of education (collectively Local Educational Agencies, or “LEAs”) to take “parental leave” to bond with their newborn, adopted, or foster child for a period of up to 12 workweeks within one year after the child’s date of birth or placement.[3] Employees are required to exhaust all of their current and accumulated sick leave before they are eligible to receive partial compensation for the remainder of the 12 workweeks pursuant to Education Code sections 44977.5 and 45196.1.

Under existing law, upon exhaustion of current and accumulated sick leave, employees are compensated in accordance with either the differential pay or the fifty percent pay system in effect at the LEA.

Under the differential pay system, certificated employees receive the difference between their regular salary and the amount actually paid to their substitute or the amount that would have been paid to their substitute had one be hired.[4] Classified employees receive the difference between their regular salary and the amount actually paid to their substitutes.[5]  Under the fifty percent pay system, certificated and classified employees are compensated at a rate of at least fifty percent of their regular salary.[6]

Effective January 1, 2019, employees who continue to take parental leave after exhaustion of all available sick leave must be paid at a rate not less than 50% of their regular salary, without regard to the pay system in effect at the LEA. If the LEA uses the differential pay system, they must pay the employee the differential rate or 50% of the employee’s regular salary, whichever is greater.

Please note that, after exhaustion of all sick leave, employees are entitled to partial compensation only if they qualify and continue their leave of absence for baby bonding purposes pursuant to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).[7]  Employees who are not eligible for CFRA leave are not entitled to partial pay under Education Code sections 44977.5 or 45196.1.

Legal Update written by: Nancy L. Klein, Senior Associate General Counsel and Sarah Hirschfeld-Sussman, Schools Legal Counsel

Please contact our office with questions regarding this Legal Update or any other legal matter.

The information in this Legal Update is provided as a summary of law and is not intended as legal advice.  Application of the law may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.  We, therefore, recommend that you consult legal counsel to advise you on how the law applies to your specific situation.

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[1] The collective bargaining agreement and/or the county superintendent’s policies or procedures may make AB 2012 also applicable to certificated employees of a county superintendent.

[2] Assembly Bill 2012 is available at .

[3] Education Code sections 44977.5, 45196.1 & 1311.

[4] Education Code section 44977.5(a)(2).

[5] Education Code section 45196.1(a)(2).

[6] Education Code sections 44977.5(a)(3) & 45196.1(a)(3).

[7] Government Code section 12954.2.