Changes for the New Year – California Family Rights Act (CFRA) And The DEFH’s Mediation Pilot Program

More changes are on the horizon for 2022! Are your HR professionals prepared? 

In September 2021, California’s Governor Newsom signed AB 1033, bringing with it some notable changes for California employers:

“Parent” Now Includes “Parents-In-Law” – Beginning January 1, 2022, the California Family Rights Act’s (CFRA) definition of “parent” includes parents-in-law (i.e., the parent of a spouse or domestic partner), now permitting eligible employees up to 12 weeks of leave annually to care for family members – including parents-in-law – with serious health conditions.  Click here to see the current text of the CFRA.

California’s DFEH Mediation Pilot Program – AB 1033 also revised the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s (DFEH) mediation pilot program. DFEH’s mediation pilot program is a free and voluntary service for businesses and their employees that manages DFEH-filed discrimination complaints. Under the program, employees or employers may request that all parties participate in a mediation with the DFEH before an action may be filed in court.  As amended, the DFEH is now required to notify employees of this mediation requirement and employees will also be required to contact the DFEH’s dispute resolution division before they can file a civil action. As a result of these changes, small employers in California may soon begin to see increased contact from the DFEH in the New Year.

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