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08 Dec

December 2021: Mid-Month California Updates

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California Passes Law Expanding CFRA Leave to Include Parents-in-Law and Modifications to DFEH Mediation Program

Update Applicable to:
All employers in California.

What happened?
On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill No. 1033 (AB 1033) that adds new amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2022, Employers are required to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off from work annually for the purposes of providing care to a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) along with allowing employees to take leave to care for “designated persons.” The designated person can be identified at the time of leave and does not need to be named before then. Additionally, the employee can designate a different designated person every 12 months.

For employers between 5 and 19 employees, the bill also modifies procedural aspects of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s (DFEH) pilot program for mediating family leave disputes between small businesses and their employees.

When a small business employee requests an immediate right-to-sue letter based on an alleged CFRA violation, that employee must inform DFEH’s mediation program of the employee’s intent to file a civil action in court prior to filing that action. The bill also sets forth other requirements for completion of the DFEH mediation program prior to an employee’s claim proceeding to a civil court.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill No. 1033 (AB 1033)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review any current policies containing the list of approved individuals qualifying for family leave and update to add “parent-in-law” as a covered individual, along with updating CFRA policies to include the ability for employees to take leave to care for designated persons and explain they may designate a new person every 12 months.


California Passes Bill Making Intentional Wage Theft a Felony

Update Applicable to:
All employers in California.

What happened?
On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1003 (AB 1003) into law making intentional “wage theft” by employers a felony in the state of California.

What are the details?

Effective January 1, 2022, AB 1003 will make an employer’s intentional wage theft of more than $950 from one employee/contractor, or $2,350 total from at least two employees/contractors, within a 12-month period, punishable as grand theft. This crime carries a potential prison sentence of up to three years.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill No. 1003

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, look into enacting policies to immediately correct any payroll errors brought to the company’s attention, and review any contract agreements thoroughly.

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