Gov. Pete Wilson on Tuesday announced the signing of legislation that makes California's family leave law conform with federal legislation adopted earlier this year.
The new state measure is intended to end confusion among California employers and employees about which of the two laws governs benefits for workers who take time off to care for a newborn child or a sick family member.
The state law had provided up to 16 weeks leave in any two-year period. The federal law allows up to 12 weeks a year.
The federal law also permits employees to take the leave to care for themselves; the state law did not, except in the case of pregnancy and childbirth.
"This is a tremendous improvement," said Teresa R. Tracy, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents employers. "This makes the law tremendously easier to understand and implement."