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  • Abigail Zelenski

Hey California, Did You Know About Changes to the California Family Rights Act?

In 2021, medical leave and family care rights were greatly expanded in California. Previously, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the state analog to the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), only covered employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the worksite. As of January 1, 2021, the CFRA was expanded to apply to employers with as few as 5 employees. Further, the CFRA broadened the definition of “family member” so that it now includes all of the following: an eligible employee’s child of any age, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious health condition. Effect January 1, 2022, parent-in-law will be added to the list of individuals defined under “parent.” Covered employers must hold an eligible worker’s job for 12 weeks if the leave is: - To care for their own serious health condition; - To care for certain family members’ serious health condition; - To bond with a new child (by birth, adoption, or foster placement); or - For a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent in the U.S. Armed Forces.

To be eligible for CFRA leave, an employee must have more than 12 months of service at an employer of 5 or more full- or part-time employees, and have worked at least 1,250 hours for that employer in the 12-month period before the leave begins.

More information can be found on the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) website:

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