Understanding Your Rights And Responsibilities Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Understanding Your Rights And Responsibilities Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Hello friends how are you all? Today we are going to talk about Understanding Your Rights And Responsibilities Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Indisputably, having a newborn is one of the major events that happen to an employee. However, when it comes to having time to bond, taking an unrealistic period of time brings with it fears of losing the job. California labor laws seem to cover employees. And as such, they have provided ways to ensure that employees have time to bond with their babies.

Understanding Your Rights And Responsibilities Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Every employer in California is obligated to follow the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The law allows eligible employees to take a total of 12 weeks’ to leave, whether paid or unpaid after working for a year. The leave may be given for several reasons, such as the birth of a child or health purposes. If you are a California employee, you need to learn about the protective leave laws.

What Is California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The CFRA requires all employers with over 50 employees to provide them with up to 12 weeks of leave in a year. To be eligible for CFRA as an employee, one must have worked more than 12 months and have worked at least 1250 hours for their employer before taking the leave. The leave may be for:

  • Birth or adoption or foster care
  • Taking care of a family member either a child, spouse or a parent
  • Employee’s serious health concerns- either an injury or an illness. Voluntary treatments are not included here.

It’s worth noting that an employee may not take the whole leave at a go.

A new law that emerged- New Parent Leave Act has allowed employees with smaller employers to enjoy the bonding leave. Employers who have between 20 – 49 employees must provide eligible employees with 12 weeks’ leave to bond with the new child.


  • The employer is notified 30 days in advance about the need for CFRA leave. In some cases, this may not be practical since some issues crop up unexpectedly. In such a case, either a written or verbal notice should be given immediately. The employer should respond to the request within ten calendar days.
  • An employee is entitled to take CFRA to leave together with any PDL leave they might have. Leave taken for a birth or adoption is to be completed with a duration of one year of the event.
  • In case of taking leave for a family member, the employee should ensure the employer gets a written communication from the healthcare provider of the parent, spouse, or child.
  • During CFRA leave, employees are not entitled to pay. Instead, the employee may be required to use any accumulated paid leave or accrued vacation time.
  • If the employer was providing health benefits, they must continue to be made available to the employee during the leave.
  • After they leave, an employee should return to the same position they were in. If they wish to change in a similar position, they must do so in writing. However, if the job is no longer available, the employer should offer another job comparable to the one before unless they prove such a position no longer exists.

It’s the responsibility of the employer to provide information about the CFRA provisions to the employees. The information should be placed in a conspicuous place where every employee should be able to see. If you have issues with your employer and not sure of the legal steps to take, is advisable to look for top labor lawyers in Orange Count Ca to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Difference Between FMLA and CFRA

There are four major differences between the California Family Rights Act (CFRA and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). They include:

  1. In FMLA, pregnancy is considered a serious health condition where, as in CFRA, this is not so. In CFRA, pregnant employees are entitled to up to 4 months of Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). The employee eligible for CFRA can take a 12 week leave to bond with the baby.
  2. In FMLA, an eligible employee may be entitled to 4 months of qualifying exigency which arises from anyone who has a child, parent, or spouse in military duty. In CFRA, qualifying exigency is not covered.
  3. Registered domestic partners are not covered as a spouse while in CFRA; registered domestic partners are treated just like spouses.
  4. In FMLA, a family member may take up to 6.5 months to care for an ill or injured service member whereas, in CFRA, one must be a family member, a parent, spouse, or a child.

If you believe your CFRA rights have been violated or need to know more about leave laws in California, you can contact an experienced labor law.


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