California

Below you will find any recent or upcoming changes to the family and medical leave and/or leave income replacement benefit law(s) within this state.

Last Updated: 03/14/2023

California State Disability (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

What is the Update?

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Update (09/30/22): The taxable wage ceiling (the maximum amount from which contributions to State Disability Insurance are taken) will be removed starting on January 1, 2024. The weekly benefit for SDI/PFL is 60% or 70% (based on earnings). This will remain the case until January 1, 2025. As of January 1, 2025, the benefit percentage will increase to 90% for lower wage earners (those earning 70% or less than the state average quarterly wage).

Update (11/18/22): The EDD has confirmed the final taxable wage ceiling, maximum contribution amount, and maximum weekly benefit amount for 2023. The SDI/PFL contribution rate is at 0.9%, Additionally, the taxable wage ceiling will increase from $145,600 to $153,164. The maximum cost for employees will decrease from $1,601.60 to $1,378.48. The maximum weekly benefit amount that an employee can receive when they make a claim for SDI or PFL will be $1,620 per week. These changes go into effect as of January 1, 2023. For our clients with Voluntary Plans, please note that the updated VP assessment rate is now 0.00126% (a decrease from 0.00154%). We will be reaching out to our current Voluntary Plan clients to discuss how the 2023 EDD changes may impact their Plan.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Effective January 1, 2023, public and private employers with five or more employees are expected to provide employees with at least 30 days of service, up to five unpaid days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. “Family Member” is defined as a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law. Leave should be completed within 3 months of the date of the family member’s death and does not have to be taken consecutively. There does not appear to be a limit for how many times an employee can be eligible for CFRA bereavement leave, but we are confirming this with the state. Those eligible for CFRA bereavement leave must be allowed to take 5 unpaid days under the law. If you have a policy which provides less than 5 days of pay (e.g. you provide 3 days of pay) for bereavement leave, you are not obligated to provide more paid days to employees, as CFRA bereavement leave is, in principle, unpaid leave. However, for any unpaid bereavement leave, CFRA eligible employees may use accrued paid leave otherwise available to the employee for the unpaid days.

Further, the definition of “family member” under CFRA expands after January 1, 2023. Employees will be able to care for a “designated person” who has a serious health condition. “Designated person” means any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. Employers may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for family care and medical leave.

Update (01/09/23): The Civil Rights Department of CA has updated the required workplace posters for leave under CFRA and PDL to now include the expanded definition of CFRA family members. Please locate our “Notice Requirements” section below to find the updated posters.

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (SF PPLO)

Update (01/03/23): San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (SF PPLO) requires that employers (with 20 or more employees globally) provide their eligible San Francisco employees supplemental parental leave pay (salary continuation/”top-up” pay) for up to 8 weeks. Eligible employees are those who work 40% of their weekly hours in the City and at least 8 hours per week, and who are employed for 180 calendar days with their current employer. Employees must also be eligible to receive CA Paid Family Leave benefits (through the EDD or via a voluntary plan), to be eligible for SF PPLO pay. Under the SF ordinance, employers are required to supplement an eligible employee’s PFL parental leave benefits up to 100% of an employees weekly salary, or a weekly maximum amount that is determined each year by the City, whichever amount is lower. SF PPLO has now confirmed it’s updated maximum weekly amount for 2023. The maximum weekly amount an employee can receive under SF PPLO is up to $2,700 per week for claims beginning in January 2023. Most of our clients do not apply the SF PPLO cap, and instead, provide salary continuation up to full pay, even if the employee’s salary is above the weekly SF PPLO cap.

San Francisco Military Leave Pay Protection Act (SF MLPPA)

Update (02/16/23): San Francisco has approved the Military Leave Pay Protection Act (MLPPA), which will take effect February 19, 2023. This ordinance applies to employers with 100 or more employees regardless of location. A covered employee means any employee (including part-time and temporary employees) who work within the geographic boundaries of San Francisco and are a member of the reserve corps of the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, or other uniformed service of the United States. This ordinance requires employers pay supplemental pay when on military duty leave for up to 30 days per calendar year. The supplemental pay under this ordinance may be used intermittently in daily increments. Under this Act, employers must provide pay to any employee on covered military leave the difference of the employee’s gross military pay and the pay the employee would have accrued if working their regular schedule. If an employee does not return to the company after 60 days of release from military duty, the employer may treat any compensation given to the employee under the ordinance as a loan payable with interest. The Office of Labor Standards (OLSE) will make a workplace poster available no later than July 2023. This will need to be posted within all SF worksites and additionally, employers will need to include a description of the rights to supplemental compensation under the MLPPA in the next edition of their handbook. The Larkin Company will provide an update when the poster is available. Additionally, the OLSE has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guide on the Act. Please locate our “Resources” section below for a link to the ordinance and the FAQ page.

Handbook/Policy Updates

The CFRA is required to be within your handbook. Employers should add “designated person,” and CFRA bereavement leave (see above) to the CFRA section of your handbook effective January 1, 2023. It may be advisable to refer to the CFRA bereavement leave specifically within your bereavement leave policy, however, please consult your own legal team if you have questions. Additionally, covered employers will need to include the SF MLPPA within their employer handbook. The City has confirmed simply inserting the poster within the handbook will suffice. The poster will be available soon, please see “Notice Requirements” below.

Notice Requirements

Navigate to the CA Civil Rights Department website and find the updated posters under the “Required” tab. See Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability Leave and also Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee. You are required to place both of these posters in a conspicuous location within your workplace.

(San Francisco employers) The Office of Labor Standards (OLSE) will make a workplace poster available for the SF MLPPA by July 2023 at the latest. We understand currently that this will need to be posted within all SF worksites. The Larkin Company will provide an update to our resources once available.

Larkin Action

The Larkin Company will consider any law changes carefully, and update our internal resources and processes, as well as our employee leave information packets, if necessary.

We will continue to monitor any updates regarding the laws and will keep our clients updated.

Further Company Considerations

Please be sure to adjust your contributions in line with the updates, effective 2023.

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Disclaimer

The Larkin Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy or completeness. These resources should not be construed or substituted for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney or appropriate professionals.