Two laws in California have been expanded so that employees may take time off to provide caregiving to another person. Therefore, employees and employers need to be aware of the requirements. Furthermore, depending on the business location, there may be applicable local laws.
Paid Sick Leave
An employee can request paid sick leave to care for a designated person. For example, an employee can request paid sick leave to care for their neighbor or friend. The employer can require the employee only to have one designated individual in 12 months, which can be determined however the employer wants as long as they apply the same period to all employees. In California, employers are required to provide one paid sick leave hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers can limit paid sick leave to three days per year unless city-specific laws exist. If employers meet this requirement, they can set their own rules.
California Family Rights Act
The California Family Rights Act allows employees to take time off to care for a family member with a serious health condition. The law has been expanded to include individuals the employee considers part of her family, such as a common-law spouse or stepchildren. Employers who hire more than five individuals must follow this law. They are required to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave per year. During that time, the employee’s job must be protected.
Many employees in California are covered by paid and unpaid sick leave in addition to Family and Medical Leave Act time off. Some cities also have individual laws allowing people to take time off to care for others.