What You Need To Know About the California Family Rights Act

Growing your business enough to hire employees is an exciting time as an entrepreneur. Employees can help optimize the products and expand the services that your company offers. Of course, with that growth and opportunity comes more workplace regulations to manage. The bigger your workforce grows, the more challenging this becomes, but for this post, we will focus on just one key state employment law: job-protected leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

What is the CFRA?

The CFRA provides eligible employees with job-protected leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, to take medical leave for their own serious health condition, or after the birth or adoption of a child. Qualifying family members can include spouses, parents, grandparents, children, siblings, or domestic partners. In order to be eligible for this job-protected leave, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,240 hours within the last 12 months preceding the leave request.

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave per year. During that time, the employer is responsible for maintaining the employee’s health insurance coverage and must be prepared to facilitate the employee’s eventual return. Even if the job has been filled during their leave, employers must provide at least an equivalent position to the returning employee.

How the CFRA Affects Businesses

All employers with five or more employees are required to adhere to the protections covered by the CFRA. Employers are responsible for providing employees with written notice of their rights at the time of their hiring and whenever there are any changes to the CFRA. If an employee requests CFRA leave, an employer must respond within a set period of time and provide the employee with a “Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities.” If desired, an employer may require the employee to submit a certification from a healthcare provider to verify the serious health condition or qualifying life event.

As a small to mid-sized business owner, taking responsibility for appropriately handling leave requests is no small feat, especially in the context of juggling all the other state and federal laws that can impact your enterprise. At Integrated General Counsel, we can help with employment law compliance, litigation, and more. For a free consultation, reach out online, or call (925) 399-1529 (1LAW) today.

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