In 2021, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) faced a major overhaul. Now, additional changes signed into law last week by Governor Newsom will expand employer obligations. Effective January 1, 2023, AB 1949 amends the CFRA by allowing eligible employees to take five days of unpaid bereavement leave after the death of a covered family member. A covered “family member” includes a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law. The time off must be completed within three months of the date of death, and the leave does not need to be consecutive. To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for more than 30 days prior to the start of the leave. Employees are able to substitute any vacation, personal leave, PTO, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time available to them. Employers may require employees to provide documentation of the death within 30 days of the request for leave.

AB 1041 also amends both the CFRA and the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 by expanding the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for. Effective January 1, 2023, the definition of a covered family member under both laws will include a “designated person”, who the employee can identify at the time the employee requests the leave. An employer can limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.

We recommend updating 2023 handbooks accordingly. Stay tuned to our blog for additional changes for 2023 compliance.