United States: Amendments To CFRA Regulations Provide Some Clarity To Employers

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) has issued amended regulations clarifying the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The amendments will go into effect on July 1, 2015, and are intended to clarify previously confusing rules and adopt regulations that more closely parallel the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Significantly, the amendments incorporate the March 2013 FMLA regulations, to the extent they are not inconsistent with the CFRA regulations. The text of the new regulations can be found here. Below is an overview of the major changes to the law, which also highlight some of the differences between the FMLA and the new CFRA regulations.

Clarification Regarding Covered Employers and Eligible Employees

Like the FMLA, the CFRA only applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. Eligible employees are those who have been employed for at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12-month period. The regulations now provide further instructions on how to determine if there are 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. Specifically, for employees with no fixed worksite (e.g., employees who work from home), their worksite is the site: (i) to which they are assigned as their home base, (ii) from which their work is assigned, or (iii) to which they report.

Further, the regulations also clarify that an employee who was not eligible for CFRA leave at the start of a leave, because the employee had not been employed for at least 12 months, may become eligible for protected CFRA leave while on leave, because leave to which an employee is otherwise entitled counts toward the 12-month service requirement. In such instances, the employer should designate only the portion of the leave in which the employee has met the 12-month service requirement as CFRA leave.

The new regulations also provide guidance on when a business is considered a joint employer. Namely, it provides that the determination of joint employer status is to be viewed by looking at all of the circumstances based on the economic realities of the situation. Where a joint employment relationship does exist, the employee should be counted by both employers when determining CFRA eligibility for the employer's employees.

Medical Certifications

The new regulations make a few notable changes to medical certifications. Under the FMLA and the former CFRA regulations, employers could require an employee to obtain a second opinion of the employee's serious health condition if the employer had "reason" to doubt the validity of the medical certification. Under the new CFRA regulations, the employer must have a "good faith, objective reason" to doubt the validity of the certification.

The new regulations also prohibit employers from contacting health care providers except to authenticate a medical certification. The regulations provide a sample health care certification, which can be found at the end of the new regulations. The sample certification has been amended to include a reminder that employers are prohibited from requesting genetic information under the California Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 (CalGINA).

Under the CFRA, a serious health condition has always been an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care or continuing treatment. Under the FMLA and prior CFRA regulations, inpatient care requires an overuight stay. Under the new CFRA regulations, however, inpatient care only requires the "expectation" that the employee will remain overnight, meaning that an employee still qualifies if he or she is expected to stay overnight, but is discharged earlier.

New Defense Regarding Fraudulent Use of CFRA

While always implied, the CFRA regulations now expressly state that an employee who fraudulently uses CFRA leave is not protected by the job restoration or health benefits provisions. Employers should keep in mind, however, that the burden lies with the employer to prove that the CFRA leave was used or obtained fraudulently.

New Notice and Timing Requirements

The regulations require employers to post a notice explaining the CFRA's provisions and the procedures for filing complaints with the DFEH. This notice must now be posted where it can be seen by both employees and applicants. The law clarifies that electronic posting is sufficient as long as it otherwise meets the notice requirements. The notice must be translated into any language that is spoken by at least 10 percent of the workforce.

The regulations also reduce the time in which the employer must respond to a leave request. While the previous regulations allowed the employer to respond within 10 calendar days, employers must now respond within five business days. Similar to the FMLA, employers may retroactively designate leave as CFRA leave only where the employer provides appropriate notice to the employee and where the employer's failure to timely designate the leave as CFRA leave does not cause harm or injury to the employee.

Next Steps for Employers

As with any change in the law, the first step employers should take is to update their relevant policies and procedures. Before July 1, 2015, employers should update their leave policies, practices and posted notices. Also, given the shortened time frame for responding to leave requests, it is important to ensure that leave requests are received by the appropriate person in a timely manner. Accordingly, employers should inform supervisors and managers about the changes to the law and provide training on how the CFRA, FMLA, and other leaves of absences work together.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
29 Nov 2017, Webinar, Los Angeles, United States

This webinar will cover issues that California employers must face when managing a remote workforce of employees who “telecommute” for work. Due to the growing number of employees that work from home, California employers must know how to manage this new remote workforce in order to offer competitive career opportunities for a new generation of employees, while also being careful not to violate the complex California employment laws that govern these work arrangements.

30 Nov 2017, Conference, Brussels, Belgium

The European Competition and Regulatory Law Review (CoRe), the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are delighted to invite you to our joint conference discussing some of today’s most frequently asked questions: Does competition law enforcement require an update for online markets?

4 Dec 2017, Conference, Virginia, United States

The Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) is held annually by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) in the Washington, DC metro area. Formerly intended for those in federal sector, it has grown to provide training for professionals in both government and industry contracting.

 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Emails

From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.