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CFRA: California Family Rights Act

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What is CFRA?

CFRA is the California Family Rights Act, which is essentially the state’s equivalent to FMLA leave.

In California, employers with 5 or more employees have to provide CFRA leave to eligible employees.

Similar to FMLA, folks are eligible for CFRA when they have worked for the company for a year and have completed at least 1250 hours of work.

And, similar to FMLA, CFRA leave can apply when an employee has a serious health condition, the birth of a new child, or has a family member who is dealing with a serious medical condition for which that employee needs to take time off.

How long is CFRA leave for employees in California?

Employers must provide eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks. Baby bonding leave under CFRA does not have to be taken 12 weeks straight and can be taken broken up into chunks. An employee has a year from the birth of the child to take their 12 weeks of leave under CFRA.

What’s the difference between California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) in CA?

CFRA authorizes eligible employees to take up to a total of 12 weeks of job-protected leave for the following reasons:

1)      To bond with a new child (by birth, adoption, or foster placement)

2)      Care for certain family member’s serious health condition

3)      Care for the employee’s own serious health condition 

CFRA is job-protected leave, not supplemental compensation

Paid Family Leave is Supplemental Compensation that runs concurrently with CFRA leave but is not job-protected leave like CFRA.  The Supplemental Compensation is up to 8 weeks.

Are CFRA Leaves Paid for an employee?

Let’s talk money. As we talked about earlier, CFRA leaves are unpaid; however, your employee does have options to maintain an income. 

  1.       The employee can use their accrued vacation, paid time off, or paid sick time to cover a portion of, or all of, the leave is taken that would have been unpaid.
  2.       An employee can apply for Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave through the state, depending on the reason for their leave, to receive wages throughout their leave period.

If the employee going on CFRA leave is enrolled in the company’s benefit plan, you, the employer, must continue providing health benefits. If the employee does not return from leave, you may recover the premium you paid for maintaining their coverage under the group health plan. 

If you have more questions regarding CFRA Leave and what that means for employers, contact Bizhaven at [email protected]

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