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New California Family Rights Act Regulations Effective July 1, 2015

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) issued the final revised California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations which will take effect on July 1, 2015. Here is a summary of the regulations’ highlights:

  • Unlike the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the CFRA regulations do not allow an employer to require a new medical certification form until the first certification has expired. For example, if the employee has a certification attesting to their “lifetime” condition, the employer cannot ask for a new medical certification.
  • The regulations state that an employer must continue health care coverage for employees during their CFRA leave and that this should be treated as separate and distinct from maintenance of health care coverage under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).
  • Similar to FMLA requirements, employers can only retroactively designate leave as CFRA leave if they provide appropriate notice to the employee and it does not cause harm to the employee.
  • Employees who are receiving disability benefits or partial wage replacement benefits while on CFRA leave are not considered to be on “unpaid leave.”
  • Unlike FMLA, employers cannot require employees to use their accrued paid leave during the CFRA leave.
  • Employers will need to implement new notice requirements at their physical work sites; once a poster is published, it will be accessible here.

Employers subject to CFRA are those who do business in California and employ 50 or more part-time or full-time employees; this includes nonprofit religious organizations. Covered employers also include the state of California and any of its political and civil subdivisions and cities and counties, regardless of the number of employees. You can review the full text of the CFRA regulations here.