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Updates to California’s Family Rights Act in 2022

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2022 | Business Litigation |

As we enter into a new year, it means new rules and regulations for California employers. These are the changes to the Family Rights Act in California that you should watch out for in case they apply to you and your household.

Clarifying ambiguities

The California Family Rights Act, commonly shortened to the CFRA, is what makes it illegal in business litigation for employers to deny eligible employees a maximum of 12 weeks off work without pay for the purpose of medical leave or taking care of their family. Under AB 1033, there are two main alterations to the CRFA. Among the most prevalent changes includes the clarification that “family” includes parents-in-law, which was previously left unclear.

Additionally, 2022’s CFRA revisions are there to provide added depth to the mediation program included in the CRFA. This program is available for small employers, who are classified as employers with as few as five and up to 19 employees.

The initial intent of this program was to provide these small employers with protections from highly expensive legal battles. At the same time, it also protected employees’ rights if they had a claim that their CFRA protections were denied.

Solving communication issues

There were previously some issues with litigation timing and communication under the program previously, which commonly resulted in employers failing to receive any employee’s immediate right to sue letter soon enough to ask for mediation before the lawsuit is already filed. With the new changes under AB 1033, employees are required to participate in the mediation program before filing a civil suit, which should in theory put an end to such issues.

It’s often challenging for employers to keep up with changing regulations, and it can also be hard for employees to fully understand their own rights. With California’s 2022 changes to the Family Rights Act, it’s something that everyone across the state should keep their eye on.