February 2008: FMLA

Changes to FMLA – Servicemember Leave – Download This Issue in .pdf Format As part of the newly enacted National Defense Authorization Act, two provisions have been added to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)* allowing a family member of certain members of the armed services to take leave. These provisions are effective immediately. “Qualifying Exigency” Leave – This provision states that an employee whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) must be allowed to take a leave of absence under the FMLA (up to 12 weeks in any 12-month period) if the leave is the result of a “qualifying exigency”. The FMLA amendments do not include a definition of “qualifying exigency” but leaves it to be determined by regulation. Servicemember Care Leave – The second provision allows up to 26 weeks of leave for the spouse, ... Read More

Winter 2008: LOA

Leaves of Absence (New Law in California and Other Reminders) – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Military Spouse Leave (Effective immediately) A California law signed by the Governor in October 2007 permits the spouse (or registered domestic partner) of an individual in the military to take up to 10 days of unpaid leave when the military spouse is on leave from deployment during a period of military conflict. What employers are covered? An employer with 25 or more employees (including temporary, part-time, employees on leave, and employees outside of California). What employees are eligible? (Must satisfy all of the following) (1) A spouse (or registered domestic partner) of a person in the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, or the Reserves who has been deployed during a period of military conflict; and (2) Works an average of 20 or more hours per week (independent contractors are not included); and (3) Provides the employer with ... Read More

Summer 2008: Meal & Rest Periods

Meal and Rest Breaks – the Brinker Decision Download This Issue in .pdf Format In Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court of San Diego County, 2008 WL 2806613 (7/22/08) the California Court of Appeal made several significant determinations favorable to employers regarding the legal requirements for meal and rest periods. While the Labor Commissioner has issued a memorandum to DLSE employees to follow these directives, the case is likely to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, so keep in mind that the following conclusions could be reversed or otherwise modified. Rest Breaks • Employers must only authorize and permit the rest break. There is no duty to ensure that the break is taken, but just to make the rest break available. Employees may waive their rest breaks, but the employer may not impede, dissuade or discourage employees from taking their breaks. • The 10-minute rest break need not be in the ... Read More

October 2009: Military Family Leaves (under the FMLA) Expanded

Download This Issue in .pdf Format Yesterday, October 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The new law expands provisions of the Qualifying Exigency and Servicemember Care Leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Accordingly, handbook leave policies for employers with 50 or more employees should be amended as follows: Military Family Leaves [FMLA]: “Qualifying Exigency” Leave (up to 12 weeks over a 12-month period) – Employees may be entitled to FMLA leave because of any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent as a member (or retired member) of the Reserves or National Guard or a retired member of the Regular Armed Forces is on or is called to active duty in support of a contingency operation or is an active duty servicemember who is serving in a foreign country. Qualifying exigencies may include attending ... Read More

October 2010: New California Leave Law Signed by Governor

Download This Issue in .pdf Format The Michelle Maykin Donation Protection Act has been signed by Governor Schwarzenegger. This law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees and provides another right for an employee to take leave in California. The law requires employers to permit employees who are an organ donor or bone marrow to take a leave of absence with pay. The law provides that: • An organ donor must be permitted to take a paid leave of up to thirty (30) days during a one-year period; a bone marrow donor must be permitted to take a leave of up to five (5) days in a one-year period • The leave can be taken in one or more periods of time • The employee must provide the employer with a written certification that he or she is an organ/bone marrow donor and that there is a medical necessity ... Read More

October 2011-1: New Pregnancy Leave Legislation

Download This Issue in .pdf Format The new legislation, effective January 1, 2012, prohibits any employer from refusing to maintain health coverage for an employee on a statutorily protected pregnancy leave of up to four (4) months. The employer will be required to pay the premiums normally paid by the employer under the same conditions as if the employee was working. Unlike a similar provision under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which apply only to employers with 50 or more employees, these changes to the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law apply to all employers with five (5) or more employees. Additionally, employers with more than 50 employees will be required to pay for health insurance coverage for up to four (4) months if the employee is disabled by the pregnancy, as compared to the current 12-week requirement under the FMLA. This new legislation applies ... Read More


Download This Issue in .pdf Format July 1, 2015 (the effective date for the Healthy Family Healthy Workplace Act of 2014) is fast approaching and ALL California employers (with very limited exceptions) must be prepared to provide paid sick leave to ALL employees.  Prior to the passage of this law paid sick leave was a discretionary benefit.  Although employers can continue to provide paid sick leave that exceeds the requirements of the law, the basic requirements must be met for all employees. Basic Requirement All employees must be allowed to use up to three (3) paid sick days (or 24 hours) per year.  Accrued sick leave can carry over to the next year, but the maximum required accrual is six (6) days. Accrual ALL employees must accrue paid sick leave as of the first day of employment, although the employer does not have to allow employees to use it until the 90th day of employment. ... Read More


Download This Issue in .pdf Format Last week the legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill amending the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.  Since the bill was passed as an urgency measure it is effectively immediately. The following are some of the key provisions of the amendments. To be eligible for paid sick leave under the law, an employee must have worked in California for the same employer for 30 or more days. An employer can limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to three (3) days or 24 hours in a year.  The year can be measured based on a year of employment (anniversary date), calendar year, or any 12-month period. An employer need not use the one (1) hour for every thirty (30) hours worked accrual method as long as the method used provides for accrual on a regular basis and the employee will have 24 hours of accrued sick ... Read More