Yesterday, attorney Michelle Lee Flores of the Los Angeles office of Fisher & Phillips, LLP, started her rundown of top FMLA, CFRA, and PDL compliance tips for California employers. Today, the rest of her list—plus an invitation to a new webinar you won’t want to miss.
[For yesterday’s installment and #s 1-5, click here.]
6. Read the California Code of Regulations regarding the CFRA and the PDL. Most practitioners are aware that the Federal Code of Regulations section regarding FMLA leave is found at Title 29, Part 825, specifically at Section 825.100 and thereafter.
The CFRA and PDL regulations supplement and supersede the FMLA regulations to the extent the California regulations provide more protections or benefits for California employees. They are surprisingly easy to understand and not very voluminous. Applying all the rules in them to your particular situation may be a little tricky, but the regulations provide an easy read for the baseline of the requirements.
California Code of Regulations Sections 11035 through 11051 are for the PDL. California Code of Regulations Sections 11087 through 11098 are for the CFRA. Specifically, you can find these regulations at California Administrative Code, Title 2, in the sections listed above.
7. California’s "paid family leave" is not a right to protected leave. It’s actually more accurately called "paid family leave benefits," and it’s an insurance benefit. But it has muddied the waters regarding "leaves" and to what employees think they are entitled and what employers are actually required to provide.
Paid family leave does not establish another right to more time off. Paid family leave benefits are administered by a state agency and may provide an employee with money to assist in the otherwise unpaid portion of an eligible leave, such as CFRA leave to bond with a baby or care for an ill family member.
Beyond CFRA/FMLA Basics: How to Conquer Complex Leave-Tracking Challenges. Webinar coming next Thursday! Learn more.
8. Schedule foreseeable leave when you can. This can be particularly appropriate for an employee’s own illness or an employee affected by pregnancy. But again, it often changes, so you should be open to changes to foreseeable leave and then reissue notices or confirmation of time away. Keep a calendar or a memo in the employee’s personnel file memorializing when and which leaves apply for internal use, and clarify later if needed.
9. Track and report intermittent leaves. If any employee is exercising intermittent leave rights, keep track of the leave and communicate how much has been exhausted either weekly (if the days and amounts of leave change day to day) or no less than monthly. That way, the report back to the employee allows both of you to be on the same page concerning when and for how long time off is part of a designated intermittent (protected) leave.
Not only does this serve to make sure you are counting all the time away correctly, but you are also telling the employee where she is in your calculation and how much she has exhausted. Communicate to the employee that she will receive this communication, and give the reasons why. Hopefully, she will understand it is for her benefit and not take it negatively.
10. Why is California so special? California isn’t so special, but California employees sure think they are! They also generally think of themselves as smarter and behave in a much more empowered way, possibly because of the Internet.
If you’re having a challenging time with a particular employee, type the key words you’re addressing into your favorite search engine and see what comes up. Most likely, the employee has already done it and read everything in front of you. Based on this, you should read it to be better prepared in dealing with the challenging employee.
Live webinar coming Thursday, March 19, 2015
10:30 a.m. to Noon Pacific
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is one of the most complex state laws for HR to navigate, and knowing the basics only gets you so far.
Often HR professionals are left to interpret whether they are correctly addressing the critical task of accurately tracking employees’ leave time. If you don’t properly track and manage leave, the employee may be disciplined for absences that should have been protected—and if that happens, a lawsuit might not be far behind.
Join us on March 19 when our presenter, a seasoned California employment attorney, will teach you strategies for mastering tricky compliance challenges under CFRA and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Participate in this interactive webinar, and you’ll learn:
- Policies and procedures that should be in place for accurately tracking and managing family and medical leave under CFRA/FMLA—and the hazards of not having those measures in place
- Must-have to convey information to frontline supervisors and managers about protected leave—so they help, not hurt, your ability to comply with CFRA/FMLA
- How to calculate and manage the amount of intermittent leave taken by employees who routinely work a flexible schedule, part-time, or overtime
- How to apply a minimum increment of leave—and safeguards to protect against tracking errors
- Commonly asked questions employment attorneys get about intermittent leave under CFRA—and the legal answers!
- When to count paid holidays as protected leave under CFRA/FMLA
- Tips for calculating leave for light-duty assignments
In just 90 minutes, you’ll learn how to master many complex and downright quirky CFRA/FMLA issues that come up in every day practice here in California.
Download your copy of Notice Requirements for CFRA and FMLA: California Labor Laws today!