New CFRA Regulations Require New Posters

John GarnerCompliance, Legislative Updates, Resources

New regulations under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) require covered employers to update the CFRA poster, effective July 1, 2015.  Employers subject to CFRA are those who do business in California and employ 50 or more part-time or full-time employees, including non-profit religious organizations.  Covered employers also include the State of California and any of its political and civil subdivisions, and cities and counties, regardless of the number of employees.

Every employer covered by the CFRA is required to post, in conspicuous places where employees are employed, a notice explaining the Act’s provisions and providing information concerning the procedures for filing complaints of violations of the Act with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  The notice must be posted prominently where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment.  The poster and the text must be large enough to be easily read and contain fully legible text.  Electronic posting is sufficient to meet this posting requirement as long as it otherwise meets the requirements of the law.  If the employer publishes an employee handbook that describes other kinds of personal or disability leaves available to its employees, the employer must include a description of CFRA leave in the next edition of its handbook it publishes following adoption of these regulations.  The employer may include both pregnancy disability leave and CFRA leave requirements in a single notice.

Employers are also encouraged to give a copy of the notice to each current and new employee, ensure that copies are otherwise available to each current and new employee, and disseminate the notice in any other way.

Any employer whose workforce at any facility or establishment contains 10% or more of persons who speak a language other than English as their spoken language must translate the notice into every language that is spoken by at least 10% of the workforce.

The text of the notice included in the regulations contains only the minimum requirements of the CFRA and of the employer’s obligations to provide pregnancy disability leave.  Nothing prohibits an employer from providing a leave policy that is more generous than that required and providing its own notice of its own policy.  Covered employers may develop their own notice or they may choose to use the text provided below, unless it does not accurately reflect their own policy.

Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability Leave

Under the California Family Rights Act of 1993 (CFRA), if you have more than 12 months of service with us and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the date you want to begin your leave, you may have a right to family care or medical leave (CFRA leave).  This leave may be up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of your child or for your own serious health condition or that of your child, parent or spouse.  While the law provides only unpaid leave, employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking CFRA leave under certain circumstances.

Even if you are not eligible for CFRA leave, if you are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition, you are entitled to take a pregnancy disability leave of up to four months, depending on your period(s) of actual disability.  If you are CFRA-eligible, you have certain rights to take BOTH a pregnancy disability leave and a CFRA leave for reason of the birth of your child.  Both leaves contain a guarantee of reinstatement — for pregnancy disability it is to the same position and for CFRA it is to the same or a comparable position — at the end of the leave, subject to any defense allowed under the law.

If possible, you must provide at least 30 days’ advance notice for foreseeable events (such as the expected birth of a child or a planned medical treatment for yourself or of a family member).  For events that are unforeseeable, we need you to notify us, at least verbally, as soon as you learn of the need for the leave.  Failure to comply with these notice rules is grounds for, and may result in, deferral of the requested leave until you comply with this notice policy.

We may require certification from your health care provider before allowing you a leave for pregnancy disability or for your own serious health condition.  We also may require certification from the health care provider of your child, parent or spouse, who has a serious health condition, before allowing you a leave to take care of that family member.  When medically necessary, leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced work schedule.

If you are taking a leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, the basic minimum duration of the leave is two weeks, and you must conclude the leave within one year of the birth or placement for adoption or foster care. Taking a family care or pregnancy disability leave may impact certain of your benefits and your seniority date.

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