California Family Rights Act Expands Employee Medical Leave
As of January 1, 2021, a new amendment to the CFRA will require any business with at least 5 employees to provide a yearly total of 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave. Leave can be applied for the birth or adoption of a child, a serious health condition for the employee, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. The amendment expands the definition of 'family member' beyond that of the Federal FMLA to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and adult children. And unlike the FMLA, the CFRA applies to registered domestic partners the same as spouses. The expanding definitions could lead to problems for employers in situations where an employee might be covered by the different acts at different times, and therefore eligible for 24 weeks of protected leave.