Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation boosting the compensation of Californians taking paid family leave, allowing residents to take six weeks off and still earn up to 70 percent of lost wages after the birth of a child or when taking care of a sick family member.
The legislation may help close a large geographical disparity in who actually takes paid family leave.
Last year, residents in the Bay Area and along the Central Coast took advantage of paid family leave significantly more often than residents elsewhere in California, according to data obtained by The Sacramento Bee from the Employment Development Department.
In Los Angeles County last year, there were about 40 paid family-leave claims filed per 100 births. In Santa Cruz County, there were 75 claims filed per 100 births. In San Francisco, it was 62 claims per 100 births. In Sacramento, the rate was 52 claims per 100 births. (Close to 90 percent of paid family-leave claims are to bond with newborn children.)
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The Bee's analysis found that areas with high average wages also tended to have a high proportion of residents taking family leave.
Several Bay Area companies recently have instituted generous paid family-leave policies, and high-profile Silicon Valley executives including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have taken family leave after the birth of a child.
This map shows the number of paid family-leave claims per 100 births by county in 2015.