The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has released the Voluntary Plan Employee Contribution and Benefit Rates for 2021.

Employers are required to withhold and send state disability contributions to the EDD. The 2021 rates are as follows:

Employee Contribution Rate 1.2%
Taxable Wage Ceiling (per employee per year) $128,298.00
Maximum Contribution (per employee per year) $1,539.58
Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) $1,357.00
Maximum Benefit Amount (WBA X 52 weeks) $70,564.00
Assessment Rate 0.14%

The employee contribution rate is the percentage withheld from the wages of employees who are covered by Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL). The taxable wage ceiling is the maximum yearly wage that is subject to DI and PFL withholding. The maximum contribution is the maximum amount withheld from the yearly wages of an employee who is covered by state disability and who annually earns an amount equal to or exceeding the taxable wage ceiling.

The change in contribution rates and the maximum weekly benefit amount is relevant to employers who must comply with San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO).  The city of San Francisco requires most employers with 20 or more employees worldwide to supplement PFL benefits received by employees to bond with a new child.  During the PFL leave period, the PPLO supplemental compensation provided by an employer, added to the PFL wage replacement benefit received from the EDD, must equal 100% of the employee’s gross weekly wage, subject to a cap.  For 2021, the PPLO cap will be $2,262 per week.  So, if an employee receives the PFL maximum weekly benefit amount of $1,357, the employer’s PPLO supplemental compensation obligation will be $905 a week.

The EDD also released an updated Overview of California’s Paid Family Leave Program and the required Disability Insurance Provisions brochure based on legislative changes that went into effect on January 1, 2021.

Jackson Lewis continually monitors governmental changes affecting California employers. If you have questions regarding Paid Family Leave, the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance or other wage replacement requirements contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

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Photo of Cepideh Roufougar Cepideh Roufougar

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus…

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus on identifying practical solutions to help ensure compliance with state and federal law. Ms. Roufougar positions herself as a strategic partner when providing advice and counsel about litigation avoidance, employee management issues, implementing disciplinary actions, and collective bargaining issues. Her ability to see the big picture clearly and understand her client’s businesses in emotionally charged and highly complex disputes has helped her clients financially and prevented litigation. Her clients rely on her to guide them through both short-term and long-term planning to achieve their unique goals and strategies.

Ms. Roufougar is an experienced trainer and presents seminars on a wide range of subjects, including: leave management and reasonable accommodations; preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation; implementing and sustaining disciplinary actions; conducting defensible workplace investigations; first-line supervisor trainings; performance management/evaluations; and wage and hour issues.

Ms. Roufougar has been successful in helping her clients prevail in numerous arbitrations and administrative appeals. She has extensive experience representing employers in labor and employment disputes. She has defended employers in employment litigation matters, including claims alleging violations of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, FLSA collective actions, and claims of harassment and discrimination. Ms. Roufougar also conducts complex workplace investigations.

Before joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Roufougar practiced at a well-regarded local labor and employment firm and served as in-house counsel for a local public agency.