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e-Alert: California Expands Family and Medical Leave Under CFRA

By October 30, 2020No Comments


Under the existing law, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for the purposes of bonding with a new child or caring for themselves, a child, a parent, or a spouse. The law currently applies to government employers and employers who have 50 or more employees (note: for the purposes of child bonding it is 20 or more employees), within a 75-mile radius of the worksite where the worker requesting leave is employed.


Expansion of Leave Under New Amendments
Effective January 1, 2021, amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) will expand the state’s leave requirements to:

  • Include employers who have at least five employees
  • Allow an employee to take leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and domestic partners and their children, as well as needs related to a family member’s active military duty
  • Allow parents who work for the same employer to each take 12 weeks of child-related leave, as opposed to the current requirement of a combined total of 12 weeks

In addition, the leave eliminates some previous requirements:

  • The 75-mile radius worksite requirement
  • The CFRA’s job reinstatement exemption for salaried employees in the highest-paid 10% of the workforce

Please note that the definition of an employee remains the same:

  • An individual who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, unless otherwise provided

Employers Next Steps

  • You can find a helpful summary of California employee leave laws here.
  • Update any leave policies you may have with the new amendments.
  • If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your policy, please email us.

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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 content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.