Question: I read that there is another new notice that I will need to post in my workplace about CFRA, NPLA, and PDL. Why is there another new workplace notice, and what do CFRA, NPLA, and PDL mean?
Answer: The Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) will soon release an updated Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave notice. The updated notice includes information about the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and describes the rights of employees covered by its provisions. Beginning April 1, 2019, employers with 20 or more employees must post in their workplace this new notice that explains employee rights to take job protected leave under three California leave laws- the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law, and the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA).
Under the CFRA, employers with 50 or more employees at a single worksite, or multiple worksites within 75 miles of each other, are required to provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of the employee’s child or for the employee’s serious health condition or that of the employee’s child, parent or spouse. Employees are eligible for CFRA leave if they have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12-month period prior to the leave.
The NPLA, which became effective January 1, 2018, requires employers with 20 to 49 employees working at a single worksite, or multiple worksites within 75 miles of each other, to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. NPLA provides leave only for baby bonding. Like CFRA, to be eligible for NPLA, employees must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12-month period prior to the leave.
Under California’s PDL, employers with five or more employees must provide an eligible employee with unpaid leave of up to the number of days the employee would normally work in four calendar months (one-third of a year equaling 17 1/3 weeks). Unlike the CFRA and NPLA, the PDL does not require that an employee have worked a certain amount of time for the employer. Instead, employees are eligible for PDL when they are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition.
Leave entitlements under the NPLA and CFRA are not duplicative. If an employee is eligible for leave under the CFRA (or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act), then the employee may not also take leave under the NPLA. However, PDL and NPLA/CFRA leaves do not run concurrently. An employee cannot begin using NPLA/CFRA leave until the employee is no longer disabled by pregnancy or has used all PDL. As a result, an eligible employee who is disabled by pregnancy may take up to 4 months of PDL in addition to NPLA/CFRA leave, for a potential total of 7 months leave.
There may be more leave changes ahead. Last month, the California State Assembly introduced AB 1224 that, if passed, would expand CFRA and NPLA coverage by eliminating the requirement that employees work at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the leave. The bill would also subject employers with only 20 employees (reduced from the current threshold of 50 employees) to the CFRA leave entitlements.