All You Need to Know About California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

  Human Resources

What are the FMLA and CFRA laws?

The FMLA and CFRA are federal and state leave laws that allow eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave. You may use these programs along with Disability Insurance (DI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits to protect your job while you: Take medical leave for yourself. Care for a family member who is seriously ill. Bond with a new child. Participate in a qualifying event because of a family member’s military deployment to a foreign country.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities of CFRA

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. Eligible employees can take the leave for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or adoption or foster care placement of a child.
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition.
  • When the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition (SHC).

The major differences between the two laws are reflected in the chart below:

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.

Covered Employers Under FMLA and CFRA

FMLA covers private employers with 50 or more employees on the payroll during each of any 20 or more calendar weeks in the current calendar year or the preceding calendar year, and all public employers regardless of the number of employees. This includes employees on the payroll who received no compensation, part-time employees, commissioned employees and employees on leave who are expected to return to active employment. Employees on layoff do not count.

Employee Eligibility 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. Additionally, under the FMLA, the employee must also work at a worksite where 50 or more employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles of that worksite.

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All You Need to Know About California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
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All You Need to Know About California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
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The FMLA and CFRA are federal and state leave laws that allow eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave.
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Plianced Inc.
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