Governor Gavin Newsom today signed into law SB 1383 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which will significantly expand the California Family Rights Act onto employers with 5 or more employees, and require them to provide up to 12 weeks of protected leave to qualified employees.
While we are disappointed that Governor Newsom signed SB 1383 and added a new burden to small employers at this time, CalChamber is urging small business owners to become familiar with the new requirements of this law as any mistake could result in a lawsuit.
“Small businesses who employ 5 to 49 employees should pay close attention to what is now required of them when it comes to this new law and its expansion of California’s mandated protected leave programs,” said Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce.
The new law allows an employee to take protected leave to care for themselves or family members, including grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parents-in-law, among others. The law also allows parents to take 12 weeks of protected leave for baby bonding following the birth, adoption of placement of a foster child. This leave is on top of four months of protected time off already allowed for pregnancy disability leave.
Employers must reinstate an employee on leave to the same position they had when they return to their job. Employees can also take leave in increments, rather than using it in one allocation.
To qualify for the new leave program, an employee must have worked for the company for 12 months or provided 1,250 hours of service.
Small business employers must be mindful of the requirements of this new law because it sets forth a private right of action, where an employee can sue their boss for any inadvertent error made in administering the provision of the leave program.
CalChamber will continue to educate small businesses on this new law in the coming weeks and months.
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs. Please visit our website at www.calchamber.com