California Family Medical Leave Act is an amalgamation of two different pieces of legislation, one state and one federal. The state legislation involved in this concept is the California Family Rights Act and the federal legislation is the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law by Bill Clinton, in February of 1993. It provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year, to “qualified” employees, who work for “covered” employers. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) generally conforms to the provisions of the FMLA. FMLA/CFRA does not for any reason supersede any memoranda of understanding that provides greater family or medical leave rights. As states go, the combined coverage and benefits for a qualified employee are greater under the California Family Medical Leave Act than most.
The two legislations comprising the California Family Medical Leave Act utilize the same covered employer qualifications, as well as the same employee qualifications. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to strike the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage, individual states are responsible for that determination. California is one of thirteen states to already have laws on the books providing that definition, so moving forward, same-sex marriages in the state will be treated no differently than any marriage was treated under federal FMLA application. Domestic partners do however qualify under CFRA, but not FMLA. The other main difference between FMLA and CFRA is that CFRA, unlike FMLA, does not decrement for pregnancy disability. California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) runs concurrently with FMLA, but not with CFRA. Therefore, women potentially have additional time available, for bonding for example, using all available components of the combined California Family Medical Leave Act.
Compliance with the California Family Medical Leave Act continues to be a difficult task, but leave administration solutions, like those provided by Qcera’s web-based LeaveSource™ software continue to save the day for covered employers, by enabling administrative efficiency, legislative compliance, and good company morale as a result. Increased DOL inquiries, investigations, and audits continue to make compliance an immediate concern for employers, as well as reported increases in the cost of FMLA lawsuit defense and judgments against those found to be non-compliant, with any part of the California Family Medical Leave Act.
Compliance solutions for any component of the California Family Medical Leave Act are available to smaller companies with LeaveSource™ Express. Companies with more than a thousand employees, multiple leave administrators, or in need of additional modules capable of handling advice to pay, employee/supervisor self-service, disability case management with guidelines, attendance tracking, or ADA job accommodation tracking will find a complete solution with LeaveSource™ Enterprise. Select the appropriate product tab for more information or the red “Request A Demo” button to witness LeaveSource software handling all aspects of California Family Medical Leave Act compliance.