California Family Rights Act – CFRA/FMLA and Parental Leave

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    California Family Rights Act – CFRA/FMLA and Parental Leave

    Posted by Brian Robinson on October 24, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) authorizes eligible employees to take up a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid job-protected leave during a 12-month period. While on leave, employees keep the same employer-paid health benefits they had while working.

    The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) requires employers of 50 or more employees to provide job-protected leave for the birth of a child, for placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care, for the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent, or spouse, and for the employee’s own serious health condition.

    What are the Major Differences Between FMLA CFRA?

    There are 4 major differences between the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA):

    Pregnancy as a “Serious Health Condition” (SHC):

    FMLA: Covered as a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

    CFRA: Pregnancy itself is not covered as a SHC.

    Registered Domestic Partners Equal to Spouses

    FMLA: Not covered.

    CFRA: Covered under CFRA, registered domestic partners are covered just like spouses.

    Qualifying Exigency” because of employee’s or family member’s active military duty

    FMLA: Eligible FMLA employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks (4 months) of leave for any qualifying exigency.

    CFRA: Not covered under CFRA.

    Care for Ill or Injured Service Member

    FMLA: Covered. An employee who is the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member may take a total of 26 weeks (6.5 months) of leave.

    CFRA: Covered under CFRA if a family member is a spouse, child, or parent.

    What are the Salary And Benefits During CFRA Leave?

    Employers are not required to pay employees during a CFRA leave. An employer may require an employee to use accrued vacation time or other accumulated paid leave other than sick time. If the CFRA leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition, the use of sick time can be required.

    FMLA and CFRA Leaves

    The FMLA and CFRA both require covered employers to provide time off for personal illness, to attend to the illness of a family member and in connection with the birth or adoption of a child. Though this sounds simple, FMLA and CFRA issues are among the most litigated of all employment law cases and can result in large liabilities. Federal and California family and medical leave laws provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of time off per year for:

    • Bonding with a newborn, adopted child, or child placed for foster care
    • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition
    • The employee’s own serious health condition
    • A qualifying exigency relating to a close family member’s military service (FMLA only)

    The federal Family and Medical Leave Act also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks per 12-month period to care for an ill or injured service member.

    What are the Eligibility Criteria for FMLA/CFRA Leave?

    There are specific criteria for an employee to be eligible for CFRA and/or FMLA. An employee must have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and must have worked for 1,250 hours in the 12 months before the start of the leave. The employee must also work at a work site where 50 or more employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles of that work site.

    Brian Robinson replied 1 year, 6 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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