October 2020: New Leave Requirements for Employers of 5+

October 7, 2020 9:30 pm

Last month, Governor Newsom signed into law SB 1383, which expands the coverage of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to employers of 5 or more employees effective January 1, 2021. These leave requirements will have a significant impact on virtually all California businesses, including those currently covered by CFRA and FMLA. Below is a brief overview of key points.

Employee Eligibility Leave must be granted to an individual who has been employed for at least one year, and has worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the start of leave. It will be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny an employee’s ability to exercise his/her right to time off.

Duration of Leave Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period, and the leave may be continuous or intermittent. Because CFRA and other leave laws have differing definitions of a health condition and family members, employees may be able to take more than 12 weeks off in a year for various qualifying reasons. Leave is unpaid, and depending on the circumstances, an employer may require the use of accrued vacation and/or sick leave.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave An eligible employee may use protected leave for their own serious health condition, to care for a family member’s serious health condition, or to bond with a new child following birth, adoption or foster care placement. Leave may also be taken because of a qualifying exigency relating to the active military service of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent.

Differences From FMLA Covered family members under CFRA will now include a parent, spouse/domestic partner, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not include siblings or grandparent/children in its definition of family member. Employers of 50+ employees must be aware that an employee may be able to take 12 weeks of CFRA leave for certain family members, and still have all 12 weeks of FMLA leave available for other qualifying reasons.

CFRA specifically excludes pregnancy and related medical conditions from its definition of a serious health condition. California’s pregnancy disability leave (PDL) law already provides up to 4 months of protected leave for these reasons. Employers of 5 to 49 employees may be required to provide up to 4 months of PDL, followed by up to 12 weeks of bonding leave under CFRA. If the employer has 50+ employees, PDL runs concurrently with FMLA leave.


Upcoming training events:

Supervisor Training: All sessions are 9:00am to 11:15am, $49 per attendee

Tuesday, October 13
Thursday, November 19
Tuesday, December 1
Tuesday, December 8

Employee Training: All sessions are 9:00am to 10:15am, $39 per attendee

Thursday, October 8
Thursday, November 10
Thursday, December 3
Thursday, December 10
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