California Allows Employees Take Leave to Care for a “Designated Person”  



November 1, 2022
 
On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1041 expanding the eligible class of people for whom employees may take family care, medical leave, and sick days. AB 1041 takes effect January 1, 2023.

Existing Law
Currently, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) makes it unlawful for an employer with five or more employees to refuse to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period for family care and medical leave. The CFRA family care and medical leave can be taken for an employee’s child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.

Additionally, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 entitles employees who have worked for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year to paid sick days. Employees must satisfy a 90-day employment period prior to taking any sick days. Employees may use paid sick days for diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care for, an employee or an employee’s family member as defined by statue.

New Law
AB 1041 expands the class of people whom an employee may take CFRA family care and medical leave by adding that employees may take leave to care for a designated person. A “designated person" is defined as any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship. The employee may identify the designated person at the time the employee requests the leave. An employer is permitted to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for CFRA family care and medical leave.

Separately, AB 1041 expands the definition of “family member’” for the purposes of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to include a designated person (as defined above). Similarly, an employee may identify the designated person at the time the employee requests paid sick days. And an employer is permitted to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for paid sick days.

We recommend you review and update your paid and unpaid sick leave policies, practices, procedures, and employee handbooks to ensure compliance with the new “designated person” standards.

If you have any questions about the designated person standard or if you need your handbooks updated for 2023, contact McKague Rosasco LLP.
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