AB1041 Law – CA Extends Time Off Allowances for Medical Leave Requests

AB1041 is an extension and amendment to section 12945.2 of the California Labor Code. Currently, under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), any employer with more than five employees must approve a medical leave of absence for employees asking for up to 12 weeks of leave. AB1041 changes that in the following ways:

Extends the Role of Designated Person

Before, a designated person was a spouse, child, parent, mother- or father-in-law. AB1041 changes the wording to mean that a designated person is anyone who is equivalent to a family member even if that person is not related to the employee by blood. AB1041 allows for unique relationships to have merit regardless of genetics. That means that an employee in California can now take a medical leave to care for a person who is like their mother even though they are not related by blood or marriage.

The existing Laws provided by the Healthy Workplace and Healthy Family Act – signed into law in 2014- entitle employees to be paid sick leave and then use those accumulated sick days to cover loss of work when the employee seeks out care – diagnostic, treatment, or medical appointments, etc., including when the employee is well but needs to provide that level of care or transpiration of a family member – child, parent, in-law, etc.

How AB1041 Helps Employees In California

AB1041 expands the scope of what we consider a “family member” similarly as it does for employees seeking leave. That means that sick leave can now be paid out when an employee must leave work to provide care for anyone with whom they associate as family. Again AB1041 helps California workers to care for the “family” they choose and not specifically those family members designed by blood relations.

AB1041 – Expands the Role of Family

Under other laws in California, the definitions of what family is have changed. For example, we now have domestic partnerships and under such a child of a domestic partnership is now covered under AB1041 as a family member even if the parent is not a blood relative. So long as the person has an association with the employee equal to being family and regardless of a blood or genetic connection, the employee is able to take off from work under a leave and provide care or support to that person.  However, the employee typically must state those people they consider family upon hiring. 

AB1041 – Protects Employee From Leave Denial

Further, AB1041 makes it illegal for an employer to deny a leave that meets these standards. There are also provisions that make it illegal for employers to retaliate against an employee for requesting or taking a qualified medical leave to care for “family.”

Let DLaw Know If You Have Questions Regarding AB1041 And Medical Leave

DLaw provides comprehensive legal help to employees who suffer workplace abuse from employers. As an employment lawyer, we help you understand your rights under the changing laws of the California labor code, and help you defend yourself from employer abuse, discrimination, and retaliation. Call us today at (818) 275-5799 to receive more information regarding FMLA or protected leave laws. 


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