Webinar Recording: California Dreaming or Administrative Nightmare?

Jennifer NelsonResources, Tools & Tactics Archives


As leave laws expand nationwide, one state still dominates as the most challenging and complex — some even say it is an administrative nightmare! The mere mention of California leave will often elicit groans and comments of empathy for HR teams. California’s Family Rights Act (CFRA) was introduced in 1994 on the heels of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Administering both presents unique challenges, not to mention the more than 12 additional unpaid leave laws in the state. Add to that multiple paid leave requirements, and it’s no wonder human resource professionals are losing sleep!

While leave administration in California is unique and challenging, there are tools and strategies to ease the burden and help you sleep easy at night. In this session, we reviewed the top five areas HR should be wary of when administering leave in California. This included some key differences between FMLA and CFRA (and the small employer/worksite equivalent CA New Parent) that create issues for HR, and the specific legal requirements of each. We discussed leave as an accommodation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and how it interacts with FMLA and CFRA. Lastly, we reviewed the different paid leave laws, their interaction with unpaid leave, and best practices for how to coordinate and remain compliant.


  • Daris Freeman, JD, Assistant Vice President, Legal Counsel, Unum
  • Ellen McCann, JD, Assistant Vice President, Unum


This webinar qualifies for the following CEUs: 1 CLMS, 1 PHR, and 1 SHRM. If you are interested in receiving continuing education credit for the recorded webinar, you will need to watch the full webinar, and then download your certificate of attendance from the “Webinar Recording and Continuing Education” tab.

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