California’s New Parent Leave Act for Small Employers Policy – Effective 1/1/2018

Attention soon-to-be moms and dads (or soon-to-be-again) of small employers…there’s a new leave law that may apply to you!

Effective January 1, 2018, the California New Parent Leave Act for Small Employers (NPLA) SB63 applies to California employers with 20-49 employees within a 75-mile radius. The new leave law is very similar to CFRA (California Family Rights Act) and FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) in its structure but only applies to baby bonding, adoption or foster placement.

Prior to this only employees with companies of 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius were entitled to a leave…so IMO this leave is a big deal for those of you working for smaller employers.

I went scouring the internet for someone who provided a policy I could use for my clients and no dice. Don’t fret though…I made one for you all.

If you do not have this policy in your Employee Handbook you’ll need to add and communicate it by January 1, 2018.

California NPLA Act (NPLA) Policy effective 1/1/2018

California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) for Small Employers provides 12-weeks of unpaid leave to new parents for the purposes of bonding with a newborn child. Employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours of service with [insert company name here] within a 12-month period and who work at a worksite where the Company employs at least 20 employees with a 75 mile radius are eligible for this leave. Employees are entitled up to 12-weeks of job-protected unpaid NPLA to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. While on leave, the Company will maintain and pay for the employee’s group health plan. Employees will be responsible for their portion of the premium; terms of payment while out on leave will be made prior to the commencement of the leave. In the event an employee does not return from leave other than the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition, the Company may recover the employee’s portion of the health care premiums. Other benefits such as sick and vacation accruals will pause until the employee returns from leave. Employees will be required to use any unpaid sick time off or unpaid vacation while on NPLA. If two parents work for the Company and both parents are entitled to the NPLA the combined leave will be capped at 12-weeks. Both parents may take the leave simultaneously if the leave does not create an undue hardship to the company. When the employee returns to work from NPLA, the employee will be offered the same position held at the time of leaving, unless the job no longer exists. If the employee’s former position is not available, a substantially similar position will be offered unless there is no substantially similar position available. Employees are responsible for informing Human Resources or their manager as soon as possible in requesting NPLA so the business can plan accordingly. Employees are responsible for providing documentation for the need of the leave (i.e. doctor’s note, adoption agency notification, etc). Employees who take NPLA can also apply for Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits through California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Eligible employees can receive up to six weeks of PFL benefits from the EDD while on NPLA. More information on PFL can be obtained from Human Resources or online at http://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/Paid_Family_Leave.htm.

Further details regarding this leave can be obtained from Human Resources or LeiLani of bethechangeHR because she’s awesome and she knows stuff.

I had to. 🙂

Disclaimer: As much as I’d love to yell “I OBJECT!” in a courtroom I’m def not an attorney. This isn’t legal advice…it’s just an HR Pro attempting to help ya’ll out with a little knowledge.