SB 1383 – California employers with 5 – 49 employees: Introducing CFRA
Late last Thursday Gov. Newsom signed off on legislation that will require almost every CA business to provide employees job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks per year. This is essentially an extension of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which is the CA companion to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
For businesses with fewer than 50 employees that have not previously been required to provide CFRA, there will be a huge learning curve between now and January 1st 2021 when the new law goes into effect. Even for businesses that have long been providing CFRA there are new requirements to implement.
The full text of the new law can be found here SB 1383.
For employers with 20 – 49 employees, this means:
You will no longer be providing leave under the New Parent Leave Act – that will go away. You will now be providing CFRA leave.
For employers with under 20 employees:
You will now be providing CFRA leave.
For employers with 50 or more employees:
You will now be providing enhanced CFRA entitlements. Also, note that there is no longer a 75-mile radius consideration – five employees equals CFRA under SB 1383.
For all CA employers:
You will need to update your leave notices and your employee handbook policies. Also, be sure supervisors and managers are properly trained on addressing leave requests.
Simply put, CFRA:
- Requires CA employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave during a 12-month period to employees who worked 1,250 hours during the previous year.
- Requires the employer to continue the employee’s benefits coverage throughout the leave
- Now requires, under SB 1383, that employees be allowed to take leave to care for a wider range of family members’ illnesses, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren.
- Now requires protections for workers who need time off when their relatives are called to active military duty – a qualifying exigency
- Now requires that, in a situation in which both parents work for the employer, up to 12 weeks of leave be provide to each employee
- No longer has a “key employee” exception, which had allowed employers to refuse reinstatement to salaried employees who are among the highest paid 10 percent of the company’s earners
The ink is still drying on the bill, and there will be much to clarify between now and the new year. Not the least of which will be the interaction between the new CFRA and FMLA.
To get guidance from the top experts on this and more, be sure to attend Employers Group’s Workplace & Employment Law Update.
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