CA FMLA is a term that requires the understanding of several pieces of legislation. The first consideration is the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. The second consideration is the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). And the final consideration is the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL). CFRA was made to be similar with FMLA as far as employer and employee qualifications. PDL benefits are made available to a greater number of employees, because employers with as few as five employees qualify as “covered employers” and are responsible for compliance with this component of CA FMLA.
The different components of CA FMLA do offer some different coverage groups and benefits. PDL, for example, can provide up to 4 months of un-paid, job-protected leave per pregnancy. Although designed to be similar, CFRA includes a qualified domestic partner as a person eligible to be cared for by an employee, while FMLA does not. CFRA also includes newborn bonding as a qualified reason for leave, while FMLA does not. But FMLA and PDL covers pregnancy disability, while CFRA does not. The obvious advantage of this arrangement for a pregnant employee is that they could potentially receive 4 months of leave through PDL and still have 12 weeks of newborn bonding leave available through CFRA. The twists and turns associated with these legislative Acts have a great number of covered employers concerned with the compliance requirements of CA FMLA.
Employer concerns with CA FMLA are being further exacerbated by the prominence of news stories regarding the Department of Labor’s plan to increase their frequency and number of investigations related to FMLA. When combined with increased fines, larger judgment awards, and the average cost of FMLA lawsuit defense being reported to be nearing $100,000 regardless of the result, it’s not difficult to understand their concern. The recent Supreme Court decision dismissing the marriage definition provided by the Defense of Marriage Act now leaves individual states responsible for that determination. As one of only thirteen states recognizing same-sex marriage, that creates an immediate need for covered employers in California to comply with applicable components of CA FMLA.
The consternation associated with CA FMLA compliance has not been a problem for many covered employers who turned to Qcera’s web-based solutions for help. LeaveSource™ software was created to ensure the appropriate and compliant leave administration handling of all federal, state and company-wide policy requirements. More than a million employees are administered with the assistance of LeaveSource™ software. LeaveSource™ Enterprise can handle companies of any size. It’s scalable and fully-configurable to meet the needs of any company. LeaveSource™ Express is a pre-configured solution for smaller companies. Select the appropriate product tab to get more information or go for a compliance test run by requesting a demo, but don’t let CA FMLA continue to be a concern.