Family leave expansion

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 25, 2011

Once again the legislature will consider various bills that expand family leave in California.  Some are for bereavement leave, paid sick leave and an expansion of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Although all employers are subject to the Family Medical Leave Act developed by the federal government, California has its own, more expansive, version known as CFRA.

This year, Assemblymember Sandré Swanson (D-Oakland), Chair of the Assembly Labor committee, has re-introduced AB 59 which would increase the circumstances under which an employer is responsible for providing protected leave pursuant to CFRA by expanding and changing the eligibility definition.

Current law defines a “child” as biological, adopted, foster, stepchild, legal ward, or a child of a person standing in “loco parentis”, who is either under age 18 or an adult dependent child.  AB 59 removes the age limit from this definition, increasing dramatically authorized leave for employees. In addition, the bill re-defines “parent” to include in-laws and allows employees leave to care for seriously ill grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, or domestic partners.

AB 59 will increase California business liability and impose additional cost burdens. CMTA is opposed.

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