California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Expansion Initial Regulations

As we finally enter the homestretch of 2020, new California employment laws are inching closer to taking effect on January 1. SB 1383 is one of the most significant new laws this year, substantially expanding the reach and scope of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

While the California Legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 1383, government agencies are mainly responsible for creating rules on how new laws are implemented through a process called rulemaking. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s (DFEH) Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) is responsible for any CFRA rulemaking. To date, we’ve had just one update from the FEHC on the CFRA expansion — the creation of regulations without regulatory effect that conform the old regulations to the law.

If you missed these, you’re not alone. The regulations were buried in the September FEHC meeting agenda, and the DFEH has not highlighted them. Thus far, the regulations submitted simply conform the CFRA to SB 1383 by:

  • Eliminating any geographical requirement for employee eligibility;
  • Eliminating any reference to the New Parent Leave Act; and
  • Updating the family members for whom leave may be taken, amongst other changes.

However, further rulemaking may potentially address the increased scope of the CFRA and account for the now-substantial difference between the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the CFRA.

The FEHC will be holding another meeting on December 5, 2020, and it remains to be seen whether the FEHC will take up any further rulemaking on the CFRA before January 1, 2021. Stay tuned to HRWatchdog for any updates.

In the meantime, CalChamber’s employment law experts will be holding two webinars — one for small employers and the other for larger employers — to help employers get ready to administer the new CFRA law starting on January 1. Both webinars will be held on Wednesday, November 18. Topics covered include notice and documentation requirements, amount of leave available under the CFRA and best practices. Register now!

Matthew J. Roberts, Employment Law Counsel/Subject Matter Expert

CalChamber members can read more in-depth coverage of the new 2021 employment laws in the HR Library. Not a member? See what CalChamber can do for you.

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