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Upcoming changes to the CFRA every employer needs to know

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2021 | Employment Law For Employers |

The last session of the California Legislature was a busy one, and lawmakers presented Gov. Gavin Newsom with a pile of bills for his signature. He has recently signed a number of bills into law that will affect employers and employees throughout California.

Some of these changes to employment laws are effective as soon as Jan. 1, 2022. Let’s take a look at two of them that involve changes to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The CFRA is enforced by the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). 

Expanded definition of “family member”

The CFRA underwent significant modifications at the beginning of this year. Among them was the broadening of who was considered a “family member” for purposes of taking family and medical leave. Adult children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and children of domestic partners were added. The new law adds parents-in-law to that list. Certainly, many people find themselves responsible for caring for a spouse’s parent who is suffering from a serious health condition.

Small employer mediation program participation

Effective at the beginning of next year, there will be some changes to CFRA’s small employer mediation program. The DFEH offers mediation for employers with at least five but fewer than 20 employees to try to resolve CFRA leave disputes with employees before the employee takes them to court. 

Under the new law, that mediation will become mandatory before an employee can file a lawsuit. The state is trying to make more people aware of this mediation program, which can help small employers avoid costly litigation.

California employers of all sizes have a challenging job in keeping up with new and revised laws that affect the employer-employee relationship. Having experienced legal guidance can help you avoid costly litigation.