Gov. Newsom Signs AB 1041: Expands Family Leave to Include Non-Family

On September 29, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1041, by Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland). AB 1041 amends Government Code Section 12945.2 and Labor Code Section 245.5 relating to expansion of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

CFRA makes it an unlawful employment practice for a California public employer or a private sector employer with 5 or more employees to refuse to grant a request from an employee who meets specified requirements to take up to a total of 12 workweeks in any 12-month period for family care and medical leave.

AB 1041 expands the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for to include a designated person, who would be identified at the time the employee requests the leave. An employer would be allowed to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.

Existing state law, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, generally entitles an employee who works in California for the same employer for 30 or more days within a year to paid sick days, including to care for an employee’s family member. AB 1041 expands the definition of the term “family member” to include a designated person.

Section 1 of the bill amends Government Code Section 12945.2 to add a definition of the term “designated person” to mean “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. The designated person may be identified by the employee at the time the employee requests the leave. An employer may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for family care and medical leave.” It would also expand the leave to care for a designated person who has a serious health condition.

Section 2 of the bill amends Labor Code Section 245.5 to add a designated person, which means “a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days. An employer may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for paid sick days.”

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Gov. Newsom Signs AB 1041: Expands Family Leave to Include Non-Family