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UC Berkeley Think Tank Identifies Shortcoming with Paid Family Leave Proposal

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to include with his budget a proposal expanding the state’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program. Therefore, a research brief recently released by the University of California, Berkeley's Think Tank on Early Childhood Policy is particularly timely. While the Berkeley think tank supports expanding coverage and enrolling more parents, it does not one shortcoming of the current program is that it operates regressively, because it relies on a flat payroll tax rate. Further, it does not apply to taxable income above $114,967, so higher earners actually contribute a smaller percentage of salary.

The report also highlights that the additional worry is that high-earning men make-up a disproportionate share of the recent increase in beneficiaries. Therefore, “the amount of aggregate wages underwritten by PFL increasingly favors better-off parents.”

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