Changes to the California Family Rights Act

Do You Know About the Latest Changes to the California Family Rights Act?

Until now, under both the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and its federal counterpart, the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employees have been able to obtain leave on behalf of only a limited number of family members. Under the new law, employees would also be able to request leave on behalf of their adult children, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings with serious health conditions. Employers should be aware of these additional family members on whose behalf an employee may request leave.

Special Report: Temporary Disability Benefits Due to COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant financial consequences for many employers and employees. Due to the overall need to protect the public at large from the spread of COVID-19, the state of California and many local governments have issued stay-at-home orders, closing nonessential businesses or allowing them to remain open only if their employees could telecommute. Many businesses were forced to shut down during the stay-at-home orders, and many employees found themselves out of work.

Red Alert: Governor Signs SB 1159

On Sept. 17, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 1159, which establishes a rebuttable presumption that illness or death resulting from COVID-19 is compensable for front-line workers and employees who contract COVID-19 due to a workplace outbreak.[1] At the same time, Gov. Newsom signed AB 685, which, among other things, requires employers who receive notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 to provide specified notifications to their employees within one business day of the notice of potential exposure.[2]

County of Santa Clara v. WCAB (Justice): 6th District Court of Appeal Limits Holding of Hikida

In 2017, the 2nd District Court of Appeal stated in Hikida v. WCAB (2017) 12 Cal. App. 5th 1249 that an employer had the "responsibility to compensate for medical treatment and the consequences of medical treatment without apportionment." That is, when medical care causes a worsening of an industrial condition, apportionment does not apply. This was a big win for applicants. Since then, the scope of Hikida has been a source of contention between workers and employers.