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The Associated Press reports that Gov. Gray Davis has signed into law legislation that makes California the first state to offer workers paid family leave, allowing workers to take six weeks off to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child or ill family member. Employees will be eligible to receive 55 percent of their wages during their absence, up to a maximum of $728 a week.

Some13 million of California's 16 million workers are eligible, though not state and federal workers who are covered under a different plan. The AFL-CIO helped write the legislation, which does not require businesses with fewer than 50 employees to hold a job for a worker who goes on paid family leave.

The law is to be financed by an employee payroll tax.
KC's View:
Today, California. Tomorrow…well, take your pick of 49 other states, all of which will start to come under pressure to enact similar legislation.

As if keeping stores well and adequately staffed isn’t hard enough.