Family and Medical Leave

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provide for overlapping as well as separate family and medical leaves. In the past, they both applied to employers with 50 or more employees. However, on January 1, 2021, California greatly expanded CFRA coverage, which now applies to all employers with five or more employees. The FMLA, however, remains applicable to those with 50 or more employees.

Additionally, effective January 1, 2021, California repealed the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA), the 2018 law that applied to employers with 20 or more employees and provided leave to bond with a newborn or a child placed with the employee for adoption or foster care.

This section explains employer obligations to employees eligible for family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Although the two laws overlap in many areas, there are important differences between them. Both the CFRA and the FMLA are discussed in more detail throughout this section.