Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1383 into law, which will take effect on January 1, 2021.

This takes the federal bill for Family Medical Leave, which has been on the books since 1985 for groups of 50 or more employees, and expands it in California down to 5 employees.


Basic Rules

Any employee who:

  • is working within a 75 mile radius of the employer’s central location;
  • has worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 month period;
  • is entitled to 12 weeks of leave where the employer will pay the portion of the health insurance premium for which they were responsible prior to the employee taking leave.


The Leave

For employees to take care of themselves or anyone in their immediate family who has a serious health condition. Immediate family includes:

  1. Child
  2. Parent
  3. Spouse or Domestic Partner
  4. Adult children
  5. Children of Domestic Partner
  6. Parents in Law
  7. Siblings
  8. Grandparents
  9. Grandchildren


Differences with Federal Law

  • Expanded definition of eligible family member.
  • Employer may not exempt a key employee (someone in top 10% of pay).
  • Parents working for same employer used to only have leave of 12 weeks cumulatively. Under the California statute, each employee of the same employee may take 12 weeks.
  • Adds qualifying “exigency leave” when someone is on active duty.