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  • Preparing for the new 2021 CFRA


    Technically, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2020 was “pandemic.”  Had they included California HR professionals in the poll, there is a good chance it would have been “game-changer.”  Probably the most significant of these game-changers for California employers is the changes to CFRA that were signed into law under Senate Bill 1383.  The legislation expands CFRA in several hugely significant ways.

    The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) has been repealed and revised to require California employers with at least one employee in California and five or more total employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave for various family and medical reasons. The revised CFRA is effective January 1, 2021 and also repeals the California New Parent Leave Act, which provided leave to new parents employed by employers with 20 or more employees.

    This means that:

    • Every single California employer (except those with under five total employees) must make changes to their CFRA handbook policy. Employers with 20 – 49 employees will no longer have the New Parent Leave Act policy.   Employers with 5 to 49 employees will possibly be creating a CFRA policy for the first time.
    • Leave of Absence request forms, and other Leave documents must be revised to conform to the new provisions.
    • Keep in mind, even employers that have been providing CFRA leave for years, must be prepared to make changes.

    This is not your father’s CFRA!

    Please click on the link to continue this article.  In it, you will learn about the seven specific changes to CFRA and the five areas that are not changing.  Additionally, because every affected employer will need to revise their CFRA handbook policy, we have some timely policy pointers.  And, for active members, we have access to a model policy for employers with five to 49 employees.

    Summary of DFEH factsheet on enforcing CFRA