As previously discussed here, Governor Gavin Newsom recently approved the expansion of the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). This expansion, which is codified under Senate Bill (“SB”) 1383, takes effect January 1, 2021 and expands the current CFRA in the following ways:


  • The CFRA will apply to employers with five or more employees and does not specify whether the counted employees need to be located in California or nationally.
  • In determining whether an employee is eligible for the leave, the employee is only required to demonstrate that they:
    1. Have been employed for a total of at least 12 months at any time prior to the start of the leave and
    2. Have worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period prior to the start of the leave. Similar to the current CFRA, the total time and hours of employment do not need to be consecutive.
  • The term “family member” is expanded to include a child (of any age), parent, spouse, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, and domestic partner.
  • An employee is qualified to take the leave for any of the following reasons:
    1. The birth of a child of the employee or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with the adoption or foster care of the child by the employee;
    2. To care for a child, parent, or spouse with a serious health condition;
    3. An employee’s own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of that employee, except for leave taken for disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; or
    4. A qualifying exigency related to the covered active military duty or call to covered active military duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Employers are no longer permitted to refuse reinstatement of a salaried employee who is among the highest paid 10% of the employer’s employees.


As 2021 is approaching quickly, this is a critical reminder that all California employers should familiarize themselves with the new CFRA and ensure their current procedures and handbooks are in compliance. Therefore, employers may need to update their company handbooks and leave policies prior to SB 1383 taking effect. If you have any question regarding complying with CFRA or updating your current policies and procedures, please contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.

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