A new bill in California was finalized that would expand the California Family Rights Act to make it an unlawful employment practice for employers with five or more employees to refuse to grant an employee’s request to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to bond with the employee’s new child or care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified.
Under existing law, family and medical leave requirements extend only to the employee’s self, child, parent, or spouse. The employer coverage threshold is currently set at 50 or more employees. This has been expanded to include a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner. The bill also reduces the employer coverage threshold to five or more employees.
Under the bill, which applies also to employees of state and local political subdivisions and cities, an employer that employs both parents of a child would be required to grant leave to each employee. Currently, the employer is only required in those circumstances to grant both employees a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during the 12-month period.