2020 California New Parent Leave Act
Los Angeles Businesses and Employees
*** Updated for Jan. 1 2020
All businesses in Los Angeles must abide by California’s New Parent Leave Act, a new law. Please read below for an overview of the new rules and how your business must comply.
All businesses based out of California must adjust their policies, procedures, and Employee Manuals or Handbooks to comply with the new policies.
What’s New? Effective January 1, 2018, California has enacted the New Parent Leave Act. The new law will require your business to: a) provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to an employee who has become a new parent; b) guarantee their position upon return; and c) maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage during that time.
California will be only one of five (5) states that offer parental bonding leave.
Who must Comply? Any employer with more than 20 employees.
What Employees are Covered? Any employee who has worked:
- For more than 12 months
- At least 1,250 hours of service within the prior 12 month period
- Works at a worksite with at least 20 employees within 75 miles
What Benefits are Provided? If a qualifying employee makes a request for New Parent Leave, your business must provide up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with the new child, within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care. The employee can use acrrued vacation pay, paid sick leave, paid time off, or other paid or unpaid time off.
Guarantee of Employment. Your business must also guarantee employment in a same or comparable position upon the leave’s termination. If you do not do this, your company will be deemed to have refused to allow the leave.
Health Insurance Coverage. In addition, the business must maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave, on the same terms and conditions as for employees who are actively at work.
If the employee fails to return when the leave expires, for a different reason, other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or circumstances beyond the employee, then the Employer can recover coverage costs.
Mediation Requirement. Finally, until January 1, 2020, an employer who receives an employment claim from an Employee can require all parties to participate in a Mediation Program by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in lieu of litigation.
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How does New Parent Leave intersect with the California Family Rights Act? Currently, California only requires parental leave (CFRA) to employers who have more than 50 employees. The new law, S.B. 63, however, will apply to employees with 20-49 employees.
What occurs when both parents work for the same company? If both parents work for the same company, then S.B. 63 permits the Company to require the parents to share the 12-week allotment between them.
What are the time limits for using the leave? The leave can be requested within one (1) year of the baby’s birth or adoption.
How does the California New Parent Leave differ from FMLA? There are a few important differences between California’s New Parent Leave and FMLA protections. The California New Parent Leave does not permit the employee leave to care for a family member with serious medical conditions, or the employee’s own serious medical condition. It only allows leave time for new baby bonding time.
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