You might have heard about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which defines the legal obligations of employers and the legal rights of employees when it comes to family leave issues. California has enacted a similar family leave law called the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) that includes many of the same provisions of the FLMA, with additional provisions that give employees more legal rights.
One of the key components of the CFRA is the provision that protects workers from discrimination and retaliatory tactics for exercising their legal rights as defined by the CFRA. The CFRA also protects employees that inform the state employment commission about employer violations of CFRA rights.
Key Components of the CFRA
The CFRA grants California workers several family leave rights, as well as creates several legal definitions that we want our clients to understand.
Pregnant employees in California have the right to take sixteen weeks of Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), with an ensuing 12-week bonding leave period granted by the CFRA. Employees that qualify for this family leave benefit retain their health insurance benefits when they take their PDL at the same time they take their FMLA.
According to the CFRA, domestic partners that register with the state receive the same legal treatment as spouses. This means domestic partners enjoy the same family leave rights as the family leave rights enjoyed by spouses. The CFRA provides domestic partners with more rights than the rights granted by the FMLA.
The CFRA follows most of the eligibility guidelines for family leave benefits that the FMLA has established. Employers that have more than 50 employees on the payroll for at least 20 weeks must follow the family leave guidelines established by the CFRA. The CFRA also covers part-time and commissioned employees.
Under the CFRA, employees qualify for family leave when they work for a covered employer for at least one year. Eligible employees must work at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months leading up to the family leave period. Although the CFRA and FMLA cover employers that have more than 50 employees on the payroll, employees of the State of California receive family leave benefits under the CFRA regardless of how many employees they work with at a state agency.
Time and Notice Requirements
Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of work off for family leave under the guidelines established by the CFRA. The up to 12 weeks of leave can come at one time or be spread out in smaller weekly increments. According to the CFRA, covered employers must post notices concerning family leave rights in areas that employees have access.
Employers do not have to compensate employees that take leave under the guidelines specified by the CFRA. If an employee must take vacation or paid leave, then the employer must compensate the employee during the leave period. Employers also have to continue to provide health insurance to eligible employees.
Learn more about the rights granted to you by the CFRA and the FMLA by contacting the employment law attorneys at PLBSH Law Firm. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling (800) 435-7542 or by submitting the short Contact form on our website.