Starting on January 1, 2021, a new law recently signed by Governor Newsom, known as SB 1383, will go into effect. This law will expand the coverage and scope of the CFRA, the state analogue to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
CFRA requires covered employers to provide eligible California employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid family and medical leave during each year of work. However, until recently, it did not apply to smaller businesses and greatly limited the type of family member an employer could leave to care for.
Changes in the scope of CFRA will include the coverage of smaller businesses. Beginning on January 1, 2021, employers with five or more employees will be covered, and it is no longer required that the employee live close to the worksite.
Employees must meet the eligibility requirements of 12 months of service and 1,250 hours worked for the employer during that period to qualify for leave. The CFRA will now include the option for employers to take leave for additional family members with a serious health condition including: grandparents, grandchildren and siblings (in addition to the previous qualifying family members). Whereas the current CFRA’s definition of “child” only includes minor children and adult dependent children, the new amendment will expand to include all adult children, regardless of whether their dependency status.
In addition to these changes, the CFRA will remove the right of employers to refuse to reinstate employees returning from leave who are salaried and who are among the top 10% paid employees living locally in certain occasions.
It will also add the option for employees to go on leave for certain military-related exigency purposes for a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent in the U.S Armed Forces. Parents who are working for the same employer who need parental leave will now be provided with 12 weeks of leave each instead of having to split 12 weeks between the two employees.
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