California employers with as few as five employees will need to provide family and medical leave rights to their employees effective January 1, 2021. Previously only employers with fifty or more employees were required.
The new law, SB 1383 significantly expands the state's existing family and medical leave entitlements and requires employers to provide an otherwise eligible employee with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid job-protected leave during any 12-month period.
Employers must maintain and pay for the employee's coverage under a group health plan for the duration of the leave at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave.
SB 1383 also expands the covered family members and potential reasons for which an eligible employee may take leave. Under SB 1383, eligible employees may take leave to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner.
SB 1383 requires an employer that employs both parents of a child to grant up to 12 weeks of leave to each employee. Under pre-existing law, the employer only had to grant both employees a combined total of 12 weeks of leave.
Employees will still need to meet eligibility requirements, which is 12 months of service and 1,250 hours worked in the previous 12-month period.
Now is the time to update your Handbook and policies to reflect the new law effective January 1, 2021.
If you need assistance with updating your Handbook or have any questions regarding the new law please feel free to reach out to us at
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