Legislative Update: Expansion of the California Family Rights Act (AB 1033)

in Home, In The News, Employment Law, Agriculture

October 7, 2021

Recently enacted Assembly Bill 1033 (AB 1033) has expanded the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).  Of particular note, the measure clarifies that employers covered under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) must grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off from work annually for the purpose of providing care to a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition.

As employers are aware, CFRA is California’s family and medical leave law. Its purpose is to ensure that Californians don’t have to choose between their job security and attending to their family’s most pressing needs. CFRA provides 12 workweeks of job-protected time off from work in any 12-month period if an employee needs the time off to bond with a new child, attend to their own serious medical needs, or care for a close relative with a serious medical condition. Private employers with fewer than five employees are exempt. In general, to be eligible for job-protected time off under CFRA, an employee must have held the job for at least a year and worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer in the 12 months before the request for time off.

After expansion of the CFRA pursuant to SB 1383 of 2020, the list of relatives that employees can take time off to care for includes: a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner. SB 1383 also included the definition of “parent-in-law” but it inadvertently left the term parent-in-law off the list of family members that an employee could take leave to care for. As a result, there has been some confusion about whether employers must provide employees job-protected time off under CFRA to care for a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition. This bill would clarify that in fact they do.

Does your company’s employee handbook contain the most recent information regarding CFRA leave? Call McKague Rosasco LLP to update your handbook for 2022.
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