California Labor Law Compliance:
Policies and Procedures
Below you will find many of the most common credible sources on the issue of policies and procedures. The contents on this site is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Please contact us for a labor attorney or immediately contact your own for legal advice.
CA Labor Code 2922 : At Will Designation
Sexual Harassment Training
CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing
Family Care Medical LeaveCA Department of Fair Employment and Housing
Pregnant EmployeesCA Department of Fair Employment and Housing
If you are pregnant, have a related medical condition, or are recovering from childbirth, please read this notice. California law protects employees against discrimination or harassment because of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition (referred to below as “because of pregnancy”). California law also prohibits employers from denying or interfering with an employee’s pregnancy-related employment rights.
YOUR EMPLOYER HAS AN OBLIGATION TO:
- Reasonably accommodate your medical needs related to pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions (such as temporarily modifying your work duties, providing you with a stool or chair, or allowing more frequent breaks);
Transfer you to a less strenuous or hazardous position (where one is available) or duties if medically needed because of your pregnancy; and
- Provide you with pregnancy disability leave (PDL) of up to four months (the working days you normally would work in one-third of a year or 17 1/3 weeks) and return you to your same job when you are no longer disabled by your pregnancy or, in certain instances, to a comparable job. Taking PDL, however, does not protect you from non-leave related employment actions, such as a layoff.
- Provide a reasonable amount of break time and use of a room or other location in close proximity to the employee’s work area to express breast milk in private as set forth in the Labor Code.
FOR PREGNANCY DISABILITY LEAVE:
- PDL is not for an automatic period of time, but for the period of time that you are disabled by pregnancy. Your health care provider determines how much time you will need.
- Once your employer has been informed that you need to take PDL, your employer must guarantee in writing that you can return to work in your same position if you request a written guarantee. Your employer may require you to submit written medical certification from your health care provider substantiating the need for your leave.
- PDL may include, but is not limited to, additional or more frequent breaks, time for prenatal or postnatal medical appointments, doctor-ordered bed rest, severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, pregnancy- induced hypertension, preeclampsia, recovery from childbirth or loss or end of pregnancy, and/or post- partum depression.
- PDL does not need to be taken all at once but can be taken on an as-needed basis as required by your health care provider, including intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, all of which counts against your four month entitlement to leave.
- Your leave will be paid or unpaid depending on your employer’s policy for other medical leaves. You may also be eligible for state disability insurance or Paid Family Leave (PFL), administered by the California Employment Development Department.
- At your discretion, you can use any vacation or other paid time off during your PDL.
- Your employer may require or you may choose to use any available sick leave during your PDL.
- Your employer is required to continue your group health coverage during your PDL at the same level and under the same conditions that coverage would have been provided if you had continued in employment continuously for the duration of your leave.
- Taking PDL may impact certain of your benefits and your seniority date; please contact your employer for details.
- If possible, you must provide at least 30 days’ advance notice for foreseeable events (such as the expected birth of a child or a planned medical treatment for yourself). For events that are unforeseeable, we need you to notify us, at least verbally, as soon as you learn of the need for the leave. Failure to comply with these notice rules is grounds for, and may result in, deferral of the requested leave until you comply with this notice policy.
NOTICE OBLIGATIONS AS AN EMPLOYEE:
- Give your employer reasonable notice. To receive reasonable accommodation, obtain a transfer, or take PDL, you must give your employer sufficient notice for your employer to make appropriate plans. Sufficient notice means 30 days advance notice if the need for the reasonable accommodation, transfer, or PDL is foreseeable, otherwise as soon as practicable if the need is an emergency or unforeseeable.
- Provide a Written Medical Certification from Your Health Care Provider. Except in a medical emergency where there is no time to obtain it, your employer may require you to supply a written medical certification from your health care provider of the medical need for your reasonable accommodation, transfer or PDL.
- If the need is an emergency or unforeseeable, you must provide this certification within the time frame your employer requests, unless it is not practicable for you to do so under the circumstances despite
your diligent, good faith efforts. Your employer must provide at least 15 calendar days for you to submit the certification. See your employer for a copy of a medical certification form to give to your health care provider to complete.
- Please note that if you fail to give your employer reasonable advance notice or, if your employer requires it, written medical certification of your medical need, your employer may be justified in delaying your reasonable accommodation, transfer, or PDL.
ADDITIONAL RIGHTS UNDER CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT (CFRA) LEAVE:
You also may be entitled to additional rights under the California Family Rights Act of 1993 (CFRA) if you have more than 12 months of service with us and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the date you want to begin your leave. This leave may be up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of your child or for your own serious health condition (not related to pregnancy) or that of your child, parent or spouse. While the law provides only unpaid leave, employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking CFRA leave under certain circumstances. For further information on the availability CFRA leave, please review your employer’s Notice regarding the availability of CFRA leave.
Victims of Domestic ViolenceCA Labor Commissioner's Office
The Labor Commissioner’s Office
EMPLOYERS MUST PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION TO NEW WORKERS
WHEN HIRED AND TO OTHER WORKERS WHO ASK FOR IT RIGHTS OF VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STALKING
Your Right to Take Time Off:
· You have the right to take time off from work to get help to protect you and your children’s health, safety or welfare. You can take time off to get a restraining order or other court order.
· If your company has 25 or more workers, you can take time off from work to get medical attention or services from a domestic violence shelter, program or rape crisis center, psychological counseling, or receive safety planning related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
· You may use available vacation, personal leave, accrued paid sick leave or compensatory time off for your leave unless you are covered by a union agreement that says something different. Even if you don’t have paid leave, you still have the right to time off.
· In general, you don’t have to give your employer proof to use leave for these reasons.
· If you can, you should tell your employer before you take time off. Even if you cannot tell your employer before, your employer cannot discipline you if you give proof explaining the reason for your absence within a reasonable time. Proof can be a police report, court order or doctor’s or counselor’s note or similar document. Your Right to Reasonable Accommodation:
· You have the right to ask your employer for help or changes in your workplace to make sure you are safe at work. Your employer must work with you to see what changes can be made. Changes in the workplace may include putting in locks, changing your shift or phone number, transferring or reassigning you, or help with keeping a record of what happened to you. Your employer can ask you for a signed statement certifying that your request is for a proper purpose, and may also request proof showing your need for an accommodation. Your employer cannot tell your coworkers or anyone else about your request. Your Right to Be Free from Retaliation and Discrimination: Your employer cannot treat you differently or fire you because:
· You are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
· You asked for leave time to get help.
· You asked your employer for help or changes in the workplace to make sure you are safe at work.
You can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office against your employer if he/she retaliates or discriminates against you
California Family Rights Act (CFRA)CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), enforced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), contains family care and medical leave provisions for California employees. These leave provisions are known as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
Under CFRA and the New Parent Leave Act, if you have more than 12 months of service with your employer, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the date you want to begin your leave, you may have a right to family care or medical leave. In workplaces of 20 or more persons, this leave may be up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care. In workplaces of 50 or more persons, this right to take leave also extends to leave taken for your own serious health condition or to care for a parent, spouse, or child with a serious health condition.
All employers covered by CFRA must provide information about CFRA to their employees and post this information in a conspicuous place where employees tend to gather. A poster that meets this requirement is available on DFEH’s “Resources” page online (www.dfeh.ca.gov).
- To be eligible for CFRA leave, an employee must have more than 12 months of service with the employer and have worked at least 1,250 hours for that employer in the 12-month period before the leave begins.
- An eligible employee may take an unpaid leave to bond with an adopted or foster child or to bond with a newborn.
- An eligible employee may take unpaid leave to care for a parent, registered domestic partner, or child with a serious health condition. CFRA leave may also be taken for the employee’s own serious health condition.
- Full-time employees may take leave of up to 12 work weeks in a 12-month period. Part-time employees may take leave on a proportional basis. The leave does not need to be taken in one continuous period of time.
- An employer may require a 30-day advance notice of the need for a CFRA-qualifying leave. When this is not possible due to the unexpected nature of the qualifying event, notice should be given as soon as practicable. Notice can be written or verbal and should include the timing and the anticipated duration of the leave, but an employer may not require disclosure of an underlying diagnosis. An employer must respond to a leave request within 5 business days.
- The employer may require written communication from the health-care provider of the child, parent, registered domestic partner, or employee with a serious health condition stating the reasons for the leave and the probable duration of the condition. However, the health care provider may not disclose the underlying diagnosis without the consent of the patient.
- In addition to the family care and medical leave requirements of the CFRA, employers of five or more persons have additional obligations pertaining to pregnancy disability leave (PDL). Please refer to the DFEH publication “Pregnancy Leave” for more information.
- Employees are entitled to take CFRA leave in addition to any leave entitlement they might have under PDL. Leave taken for the birth or adoption of a child must be completed within one year of the event.
SALARY AND BENEFITS DURING CFRA LEAVE
Employers are not required to pay employees during a CFRA leave. An employer may require an employee to use accrued vacation time or other accumulated paid leave other than sick time. If the CFRA leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition, the use of sick time can be required.
If the employer provides health benefits under a group plan, the employer must continue to make these benefits available during the leave. Similarly, the employee is entitled to continue accruing seniority and participate in other benefit plans.
1. After CFRA leave, employees are guaranteed a return to the same or comparable position and can request the guarantee in writing.
2. If the same position is no longer available, such as in a layoff or closure, the employer must offer a position that is comparable in terms of pay, benefits, shift, schedule, geographic location, and working conditions, including privileges, perquisites, and status, unless the employer can prove that no comparable position exists. An employee is not entitled to reinstatement if the employee would have been otherwise laid off or terminated.
FAMILY TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE (FTDI) OR “PAID FAMILY LEAVE”
Employees on CFRA leave of absence may also be eligible for six weeks of paid leave under FTDI, a program administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). For further information, contact the EDD at (800) 480-3287 or visit EDD’s website at www.edd.ca.gov.
UnemploymentCA Employment Development Department
DisabilityCA Employment Development Department
Disability is an illness or injury, either physical or mental, which prevents customary work. Disability includes elective surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Disability Insurance (DI) is a component of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, designed to partially replace wages lost due to a non-workrelated disability (see “Other Programs,” for jobrelated disabilities).
SDI contributions are paid by California workers covered by the SDI program. Contribution rates may vary from year to year. For current rates, visit the DI website at www.edd.ca.gov/disability, or contact the Employment Development Department (EDD) Disability Insurance customer service at 1-800-480-3287 or EDD employment tax customer service at 1-888-745-3886.
- State Plan. The DI state plan is covered in this brochure.
- Voluntary Plan (VP). A private plan, approved by the Director of the EDD, which may be substituted for the State Plan. Voluntary Plans may be established if the employer and majority of employees agree to do so. VP information and filing a claim may be done through your employer. If you are covered by a VP, the provisions of this brochure may not apply to you. Obtain information about your coverage and file a VP claim through your employer.
- Elective Coverage (EC). Employers and selfemployed persons, including general partners, may elect coverage. The method of computing benefits for EC participants is not the same as for mandatory rate payers. The cost of participating, which is set annually, can be obtained from your local EDD Employment Tax Customer Service Office. EC claims are filed in the same manner as State Plan claims; however, there are some differences in eligibility requirements from those listed in this pamphlet.
- For additional information or to apply for coverage, contact EDD DI customer service at 1-800-480-3287, EDD employment tax customer service at 1-888-745-3886, or visit our website at www.edd.ca.gov/disability.
How to Claim State Plan Benefits
1. Use SDI Online to securely file for benefits or request a paper claim form online.
a. By Internet: www.edd.ca.gov/disability.
b. By phone: 1-800-480-3287.
c. By mail: EDD, Disability Insurance, PO Box 989777, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9777.
d. In person by visiting any of the DI offices listed under “DI Office Locations.”
e. California state government employees covered by SDI should call 1-866-352-7675.
2. When filing using SDI Online, complete all required fields. A receipt number will be generated when your claim is submitted. If using a paper Claim for Disability Insurance (DI) Benefits (DE 2501) form, complete and sign Part A-Claimant’s Statement. Print clearly, and verify your answers are complete and correct as errors delay payment.
3. Have your physician/practitioner complete the Part B - Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate online or use the paper claim form. If filing online, your physician/practitioner will need your receipt number to complete the Part B - Physician/Practitioner’s Certificate. Usually a claim cannot begin more than seven days before you were examined by or under the care of a physician/practitioner. Certification may be made by a licensed medical or osteopathic physician and surgeon, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, chiropractor, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, designated psychologist, or an authorized medical officer of a United States government facility. Certification may also be made by a licensed nurse-midwife or licensed midwife for disabilities related to normal pregnancy or childbirth.
4. File online or submit your paper claim form within 49 days from the date your disability begins. If your claim is late, you may lose benefits unless your explanation of the delay is accepted as reasonable.
Human Resources and
California Labor Law Insights
Sloan provides customized human resource solutions. The contents on this site is provided for information purposes only, it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Please contact us for a labor attorney or immediately contact your own for legal advice.
Labor Law Categories
We believe basic labor law and rules shouldn't be difficult to find and implement in a business. Therefore, we've comprised the court cases and rulings behind the most commonly encountered issues when running a business in California. Click on any category to see the relevant library.