BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 406 (Jackson) - Employment: leave.
          
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          |Version: April 23, 2015         |Policy Vote: L. & I.R. 4 - 1    |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: May 11, 2015      |Consultant: Robert Ingenito     |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.




          Bill  
          Summary: SB 406 would (1) extend permissive family and medical  
          leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to include a  
          seriously ill child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or  
          parent-in-law, (2) reduce the small business exemption from 50  
          employees in a 75 miles radius to 25 employees, and (3) require  
          employers to grant 12 weeks of leave individually to parents,  
          which are employed by the same employer, for leave in connection  
          with the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child?


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)  
          would incur increased General Fund costs of about $686,000  
          annually to implement the provisions of the bill.


          Background: Under current law, CFRA requires an employer with 50 or more  







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          employees to allow an employee who has worked at least 1,250  
          hours to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for  
          their own serious medical condition, for the birth or adoption  
          of a child, or to care for the serious medical condition of a  
          child (under 18 years of age or adult dependent), spouse or  
          parent. The current definition of a "parent" includes  
          step-parents, as well as those individuals who stand in locos  
          parentis to the child.


          Proposed Law:  
           This bill would expand the family members covered under the  
          CFRA, as follows:
                 "Child" would include the son or daughter of a domestic  
               partner and removes the provision regarding age and  
               dependent status of the child.


                 Permissible family and medical leave would be expanded  
               to include leave to care for a sibling, grandparent,  
               grandchild, or parent-in-law with a serious health  
               condition.


                 The bill would include parent-in-law in the definition  
               of parent.


                 The bill specifies permissible leave for a domestic  
               partner with a serious health condition.


                 The bill would reduce the small business exemption to an  
               employer that employs 25 or fewer employees within 75 miles  
               of the worksite where the employee is employed. 


                 The bill would remove an exception when both parents are  
               entitled to leave in connection with the birth, adoption,  
               or foster care of a child and are employed by the same  
               employer, thereby requiring the employer to grant each  
               employee up to 12 weeks of leave individually rather than  
               between both parents as in currently in statute.









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          Related  
          Legislation: SB 770 (Jackson), Chapter 350, Statutes of 2013.  
          Broadened the definition of family within the Paid Family Leave  
          (PFL) program to allow workers to receive the partial wage  
          replacement benefits while taking care of seriously ill  
          siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.


          Staff  
          Comments: DFEH would require an augmentation of six positions  
          and $686,000 to handle an assumed increased in CFRA complaints  
          of about 24 percent created by the expansion of CFRA rights.  
          DFEH would not receive any additional federal funds; its work  
          share agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  
          excludes CFRA complaints.
          DFEH chose its growth factor of 24 percent based on a U.S.  
          Census estimate that an equivalent proportion of the State's  
          employers have 25-49 employees. Data from the Employment  
          Development Department indicate that the share is a few  
          percentage points lower, suggesting that the workload resulting  
          from the bill could be less than the DFEH estimate. 


          As a direct employer, the State generally provides the benefit  
          associated with this bill; consequently the impact to state  
          agencies is expected to be minimal. The Department of  
          Developmental Services (DDS), however, notes that providers  
          likely would ask for unanticipated rate adjustments as a result  
          of the bill. DDS would likely grant the request, assuming the  
          providers can document the bill's impact to their costs. Doing  
          so would be difficult for the providers to estimate; thus, the  
          resulting fiscal impact to DDS is unknown.




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