California Paid Family Leave Has Expanded To Eight Weeks
Effective July 1, 2020, the total claim time-frame for Paid Family Leave in CA has expanded from six weeks to eight weeks. PFL provides partial wage replacement benefits to employees who need to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member (child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner) or to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement
The expansion of the leave was the key component of SB 83 signed into law by the Governor on June 27, 2019. Employers should be aware that there are further provisions of this legislation still to be enacted.
Among the pending components of SB 83 are:
- The addition in 2021 of qualifying exigencies related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s family member in the U.S. Armed Forces as a reason for the leave;
- An expansion in 2020 of the paid time off benefit to six months This would be limited to baby bonding leaves and would be the total if both parents claim PFL benefits.
Employer actions recommended include:
- Review written policies and update accordingly. Many PFL handbook policies do not specify the maximum amount of PFL and may not need to be updated; but, if your policy does, it should be updated.
- Post and/or distribute the 2020 updated EDD PFL notice: https://www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de2511.pdf
- Train HR and all supervisors and managers on the changes so they will be able to plan accordingly
- Continue to follow the developments related to SB 83, as they will probably lead to additional benefits over the next few months and years.
The EDD website has some very useful overviews and training for both employers and employees that can be accessed here:
Finally, employers should always keep in mind that Paid Family Leave is not a leave entitlement along the lines of FMLA, CFRA or Paid Sick Leave. PFL is a benefit, and employees who are eligible to take leave through those entitlements are then eligible to apply for wage replacement benefits through PFL.