• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Can you explain California’s alphabet soup of paid family leave laws?

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. What are the differences between FMLA leave, CFRA leave and PFL?

A. The FMLA is a federal law. It entitles eligible em­­ployees to take 12 workweeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth and for the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement. It also permits unpaid leave for employees to care for their own or a family member’s serious health condition.

(The FMLA also permits longer leave in connection to military service members’ injuries or illness.)

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the state’s unpaid leave law. It allows certain employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child for purposes of bonding and for placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care. It also grants leave rights to provide care for the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent or spouse, or the employee’s own serious health condition.

Both the FMLA and CFRA offer employees reinstatement at the end of leave, except in certain circumstances.

Paid Family Leave (PFL), on the other hand, provides up to six weeks of paid benefits to an employee who suffers a wage loss when taking time off work to care for others.

Covered is time off to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or registered domestic partner; to bond with the employee’s new child or the new child of the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner; or to bond with a child in connection with the adoption or foster care placement of the child with the employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner.

An individual who is entitled to leave under the FMLA and the CFRA must take PFL concurrent with leave taken under those acts.

Unlike FMLA and CFRA leave, the PFL does not provide job protection. While the FMLA and CFRA apply to employers with 50 or more employees, the PFL program applies to all California employers, regardless of their size. Finally, unlike the FMLA and CFRA, the PFL program does not require employers to provide eligible employees with time off. It only provides for wage replacement for employees off work for reasons covered by the PFL program.

Leave a Comment