The EDD has just released a new and updated Paid Family Leave benefit brochure. Employers are required to provide the Paid Family Leave brochure, DE 2511 to new employees and employees who request leave to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.
I frequently receive questions about the confusing and growing number of benefit and leave laws. FMLA, CFRA, PDL, SDI, PFL…. the list goes on. One important distinction among these laws is that some protect an employee’s job when on leave and may guarantee return to that job, while others are strictly about providing certain replacement wages while on leave. The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term Disability Insurance (frequently referred to as “SDI”) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits to eligible workers who need time off work. Both programs focus on wage replacement. When an employee is unable to work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth, he/she may be eligible for some wage replacement under SDI. When an employee needs to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child, he/she may be eligible for wage replacement under PFL. Neither of these state programs guarantees an employee the right to take a leave or to return to their job from a leave.
FMLA (the Family & Medical Leave Act), Pregnancy Disability Leave, and CFRA (the California Family Rights Act) are family care and medical leave laws that provide unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. These laws don’t replace employees’ wages. Employees must look to SDI, PFL, accrued sick leave, vacation time, etc. for wage replacement when they must take leave.
Leave and benefit laws continue to multiply in number and complexity. If you are an employer or an employee with questions about what laws and benefits are applicable and how to proceed, be sure to consult with experienced employment law counsel.