• Finley Employment Law

California Expands CFRA Coverage


Under the California Family Rights Act (the “CFRA”), eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child, the adoption of a child, or the placement of a child in foster care. Eligible employees may also take leave to care for a seriously ill family member or because of the employee's own health condition.


Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 1383, which amends the CFRA and expands its coverage. Below is a summary of some of the key amendments to CFRA, all of which are effective January 1, 2021:


1. Prior to SB 1383, CFRA applied only to private sector employers with 50 or more employees. Effective January 1, 2021, CFRA applies to all private employers with five or more employees. The CFRA continues to apply to all public employers (e.g., local and state government agencies) of all sizes.

2. Prior to SB 1383, eligible employees could take CFRA leave to care for a “family member” with a “serious health condition.” In turn, the CFRA defined a “family member” as a parent, spouse, minor child, or adult dependent child. Effective January 1, 2021, “family member” now also includes siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, domestic partners, all adult children (whether or not dependent), and children of a domestic partner.

3. Prior to SB 1383, if an employer employed both parents of a child, the employer was required to provide only a combined total of 12 weeks of CFRA leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the child. Effective January 1, 2021, such employer must provide up to 12 weeks of CFRA leave to each employee (for a combined total of up to 24 weeks).

4. Prior to SB 1383, the CFRA contained a “key employee” exception, which in certain limited circumstances, permitted employers to deny reinstatement to a “key employee” who returns from CFRA leave. (A “key employee” is an employee who is among the highest paid 10 percent of the employer’s employees.) Effective January 1, 2021, there is no longer a “key employee” exception in the CFRA.


If you have questions about the CFRA, call ((916) 612-0326) or email (contact@finleyemplaw.com) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, and Concord.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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