New Parent Leave Act Expands Portion of CFRA to Smaller Employers
Beginning January 1, 2018, employers in California with 20 or more employees within 75 miles must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off within one year of when a new child is born, adopted, or placed in foster care. Employees are eligible for this leave only if they have worked for the employer for more than 12 months, and have done at least 1,250 hours of work in the 12 months immediately prior to taking the leave.
During the leave, employers must continue to pay the usual portion of the employee’s health insurance premiums, though they will be able to recover those funds if the employee does not return to work for a reason other than a serious medical issue or circumstance not within the employee’s control. If both eligible parents work for the same company, the leave may be limited to 12 weeks between the two of them.
Until 2020, a mediation program will be in place, allowing employers to require that employees who believe the law has been violated engage in a mediation process prior to filing a lawsuit.
Regulations related to the Act have not yet been issued, but since it is essentially an extension of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), we expect similar if not identical rules to be applied. We will update employers if and when essential new information is released.
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