FAQs – Relation of the Paid Family Insurance program to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

What is the difference between Paid Family Leave insurance and employee leave laws?
FMLA and CFRA are federal and state leave laws, respectively, that allow an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave from his or her job in a 12-month period to care for themselves or family members who are ill, or children who are unable to take care of themselves. Paid Family Leave insurance does not change either law in any way and is completely separate from them. Paid Family Leave merely provides up to six (6) weeks of paid benefits to an employee who suffers a wage loss when taking time off work to care for others.

See the Department of Labor for more information about FMLA. Contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing at 1-800-884-1684 for more information about CFRA.

As an employer, may I require employees to take leave under the federal FMLA and the CFRA at the same time they are receiving Paid Family Leave insurance benefits?
Yes, if your company is subject to the provisions of FMLA and CFRA. See California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for more information about CFRA.

Is an employee’s job protected when receiving Paid Family Leave benefits?
No. This program does not protect anyone’s job. It simply provides partial wage replacement when an employee cannot work due to the need to care for a child, parent, spouse, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. Some employees may have their job protected under other laws, such as the FMLA or the CFRA.

Note: Beginning July 1, 2014,California workers may be eligible to receive PFL benefits when taking take time off of work to care for a seriously ill parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling. For more information, view Senate Bill 770 (Chapter 350, Statutes of 2013).

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