Amended CFRA Regulations to Take Effect July 1, 2015

California Family Rights Act

The California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has approved Amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Regulations, which will take effect July 1, 2015. The CFRA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks leave in any 12-month period for personal or family illness or to bond with a child. The CFRA covers private employers with 50 or more workers within 75 miles of the worksite and public employers with any number of workers. CFRA leave is similar but not identical to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

CFRA leave is allowed for the following reasons:

  • Birth of a child for purposes of bonding
  • Placement of a child in an employee’s family for adoption or foster care
  • The serious health condition of an employee’s child, parent, or spouse
  • An employee’s own serious health condition

The Amendments clarify existing CFRA regulations and provide employers with additional guidance regarding how CFRA leave is administered.  Some of the specific changes include:

  • Changing the title of the regulations from “Family Care and Medical Leave” to “California Family Rights Act”.
  • Incorporating into the CFRA the federal FMLA regulations that became effective March 8, 2013.
  • Revising defined terms, including the terms serious health condition, covered employer, eligible employee, and spouse, which now explicitly includes same-sex spouses and domestic partners.
  • Clarifying leave rights of “key employees”.
  • Addressing fraudulently obtained CFRA leave as well as protection from interference with CFRA rights.
  • Expanding on rights upon return from leave, obtaining fitness-for-duty and return-to-work information, and continuing disabilities.
  • Clarifying administration of group health benefits.
  • Particular considerations in performing computations such as the leave year, holidays, overtime hours, and the effect of intermittent and reduced leave schedules.
  • Changing employers’ posting and written notice obligations.
  • Changing the health care provider certification form.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has informed us that the updated mandatory CFRA posting will be available in time for the Amendments’ July 1 effective date. CPC wants to make sure you stay in compliance! Check our blog regularly for updates and additional details.

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