BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                     SB 406

                                                                    Page  1


          406 (Jackson)

          As Amended  September 1, 2015

          Majority vote

          SENATE VOTE:  23-16

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Labor           |5-2  |Roger HernŠndez, Chu, |Harper, Patterson   |
          |                |     |Low, McCarty,         |                    |
          |                |     |Thurmond              |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |12-5 |Gomez, Bloom, Bonta,  |Bigelow, Chang,     |
          |                |     |Calderon, Nazarian,   |Gallagher, Jones,   |
          |                |     |Eggman, Eduardo       |Wagner              |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Rendon, Weber, |                    |
          |                |     |Wood                  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Expands various provisions of law related to unpaid  


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          family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act  
          (CFRA).  Specifically, this bill:

          1)Provides that the law applies to any person who directly  
            employs 25 or more employees (compared with 50 or more  
            employees under existing law).

          2)Amends the definition of "child" to include the son or  
            daughter of a domestic partner and deletes provisions  
            regarding the age and dependent status of a child.

          3)Expands permissible leave to include leave to care for a  
            sibling, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, or domestic  
            partner with a serious health condition.

          4)Removes an exception when both parents 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 currently in existing law.

          5)Makes related and conforming changes.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, this bill would result in General Fund administrative  
          costs to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing of  
          approximately $700,000.  The impact to other state agencies is  
          expected to be minimal since the state generally provides this  
          benefit already.

          COMMENTS:  According to the author, this bill ensures that  
          eligible workers can keep their jobs when they need time off to  
          care for their families. Over 40% of the workforce is not  


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          eligible for California Family Rights Act due to the law's  

          The current definition of family under CFRA includes minor or  
          adult dependent children, parents, spouses, and registered  
          domestic partners.  Recently, the definition of family members  
          for Paid Family Leave (PFL), a program that allows workers to  
          receive partial wage replacement benefits while taking care of  
          seriously ill family members, was expanded to include siblings,  
          grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.  This bill  
          seeks to include these family members under CFRA, allowing  
          employees to take job-protected leave when utilizing their PFL  
          benefits.  Currently, employees may receive this monetary  
          benefit when caring for these additional family members but risk  
          losing their jobs to provide such care.  This bill would also  
          allow for parents that are entitled to leave and employed by the  
          same employer to receive 12 weeks of family and medical leave  
          individually in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster  
          care of a child.

          According to supporters, the restrictions on family caregiving  
          under CFRA fail to account for the diversity of California  
          households and the importance of caregiving by extended family  
          members.  Supporters bring attention to various study findings  
          including: a study of Alzheimer's patients which found that 40%  
          of caregivers were not covered under the narrow definition of  
          family in CFRA, one study that found that nearly 20% of primary  
          caregivers for chronically disabled individuals are neither the  
          spouse nor the child of the person receiving care, and another  
          finding that one in twelve caregivers provides care to a  
          parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandparent-in-law. 

          Supporters argue that most leave taken under the CFRA is short,  
          minimizing the impact on employers.  They state that nearly half  
          of all leave taken is for 10 days or less.  Moreover, they cite  
          data from the Employment Development Department (EDD) that  


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          expanding this bill to cover employers with 25 or more employees  
          will impact less than 6% of businesses in California. 

          A coalition of employers, including the California Chamber of  
          Commerce, opposes this bill and argues that it will overwhelm  
          small businesses by mandating businesses with 25 or more  
          employees to provide a 12-week protected leave of absence.   
          Opponents contend that this will put a greater burden on both  
          small and large businesses while creating an even further  
          disconnect from federal law.  Additionally, opponents argue that  
          expanding the family members for whom an employee may take a  
          12-week protected leave of absence to care for to include a  
          grandparent, a grandchild, and siblings will negatively impact  
          California employers.  Opponents also argue that California  
          already has extensive family-related protected leaves of absence  
          and that this bill is therefore unnecessary. 

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Ben Ebbink / L. & E. / (916) 319-2091  FN: