Employees on Leave Previously Ineligible for CFRA May Now Be Protected!

On January 1, 2021, the scope of CFRA greatly expanded. That means employees who previously went out on leave, but did not qualify for CFRA, may now in fact be eligible for its protections and notice requirements. While CFRA expanded in numerous ways, a few highlights include:
  1. Previously only employers with 50 or more employees were subject to CFRA. Now, any employer with 5 or more employees is subject to the law.
  2. Previously, an employee needed to work within 75 miles of 49 or more other employees to be eligible for CFRA. Now, that requirement has been eliminated.
  3. Previously, CFRA did not apply to employees taking leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings (outside of loco parentis relationships). Now, it does.
  4. Previously, CFRA did not apply to employees taking leave due to certain exigencies related to a spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent being called to covered active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. Now, it does.
So, in short, you may currently have employees on leave who were not previously protected under CFRA, but who are now eligible as of January 1, 2021. As such, it is imperative that you review the circumstances of each of your employees on leave who were previously determined as ineligible for CFRA, and take a second look.
If an employee who has been out on leave is now newly qualified for CFRA as of January 1, 2021, you must send that employee a notice of their new eligibility, as well as a notice of the employee’s rights and responsibilities. Depending upon the circumstances, you may also be required to provide the employee a designation notice, advising the employee whether in fact you are designating the leave as protected under CFRA. Finally, if you are an employer who is now newly subject to CFRA because you have 5 or more employees, you must post at all worksites in a conspicuous place a notice explaining CFRA to your employees.
If you have any questions or need assistance with how to comply with these new requirements, please contact us for support, we will be your partner in navigating through the changes.