Effective July 1, 2014 there will be an amendment to the California’s Paid Family Leave Program, which provides wage replacement benefits under the State Disability Insurance Program. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation (SB 770) that will expand California’s Paid Family Leave program to include workers who take time off to care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws.

Employers are Free to Decide
It is important to note that this change in the law does not give California employees a right to take a leave of absence to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law. Because those categories of relatives do not fall within the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act, an employer is free to decide, as a matter of policy, whether to allow leaves to be taken to care for those relatives.

 Key Points and Next Steps for Employers

  • California employers should review their current leave policies and decide if they are going to expand their leave policies to allow for the additional family relations as is outlined in the recent change to the Paid Family Leave Law and prepare to communicate that decision to their employees.
  • HR Knowledge is keeping an eye out for the new workplace poster that the California EDD is expected to issue in connection with this change and will provide notice to our clients once that change has been announced.

This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us at HR@hrknowledge.com.