CALIFORNIA LABOR LAWS 2016 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles



Take Effect On April 1, 2016

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL),  California employers with at least five employees must provide unpaid leave to an employee who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.  FEHA also requires employers to give employees notice of their rights and obligations.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council recently revised its FEHA regulations (the Regulations).  Effective April 1, 2016, the Regulations require all California employers with at least five employees to post a new pregnancy disability leave notice, “Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee” (New Notice).

In addition to eliminating existing Pregnancy Disability Notices “A” and “B,” the New Notice specifies:

Health Care Coverage During PDL: Currently, the employer must continue providing health group coverage to the employee on pregnancy disability leave.  The New Notice further provides that such coverage must remain at the same level and under the same conditions during the leave.

Notification Requirements:  To receive a reasonable accommodation, obtain a transfer to another job position or take pregnancy disability leave, the pregnant employee must provide advance notice to her employer. The New Notice requires that the employee provide such notice at least 30 days in advance of a foreseeable event (e.g., the expected birth of a child or planned medical treatment).  For unforeseeable events, the employee must provide written or verbal notice as soon as practicable.  If an employee fails to comply, the employer may defer the requested leave until the employee provides proper notice.

Additional Rights Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Leave:  For California employers with 50 or more employees, certain eligible employees may also be entitled to unpaid CFRA leave for the birth, adoption, or for foster care placement of the child or for the employee’s or specified family member(s)’ serious health condition(s). The New Notice includes a CFRA rights summary and specifies that according to applicable law “employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking CFRA leave.”

Employers should purchase an updated California and Federal Employment Notices Poster from the California Chamber of Commerce or other qualified vendor and be prepared to implement the new pregnancy disability leave regulations by the April 1 deadline.

For more information, please contact one of our attorneys, Timothy Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth, March 29, 2016