October 2017 HR Bulletin: Change is the Law of Life
Last week Governor Brown signed into law SB 63, known as the New Parent Leave Act, that will become effective January, 1, 2018. This law significantly increases the burden on small employers. While there is no change for employers already subject to FMLA and CFRA, if your business has 20 or more employees, you will soon be required to provide up to 12 weeks of leave for employees who wan to bond with a new child, within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
In order to be individually eligible for this bonding leave, an employee must:
• Work for your business for at least 12 months
• Work at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months
• Work at a location with 20 employees within 75 miles
This leave is in addition to Pregnancy Disability Leave, which can already last up to four months. During both Pregnancy Disability Leave and this newly mandated bonding leave, a company must also maintain an employee’s benefits at the level and under the conditions that benefits would have been provided had the employee been active.
Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their right to this leave. Employers can face litigation if they take adverse action against employees who request to take leave or if they refuse to provide leave as required.