Understanding and Navigating California Leaves of Absence - Ultimate Guide to PDL, FMLA, FEHA, SDI, CFRA, PFL, ADA and Workers Compensation and Handling Performance Management Challenges


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California stands as one of the most complex states to do business. Part of this reputation stems from employer requirements for managing medical leaves of absence. Even human resources professionals are confused by the myriad of leave types in the state. And for some, leaves in municipalities must be considered. Just as serious is how these types of leaves interact with federal requirements. Although some provisions under California laws are similar to federal laws, not all of them are. It can make overwhelming to manage leaves of absence and remain compliant in the Golden State.

Astute compliance with laws related to the various leave types is critical for any company with California-based employees. Liability costs for non-compliance can be staggering. Just as important is the cost of damaged employee relations and engagement as well as external organizational reputation. While companies will turn to their labor attorneys to walk them through the specific details of employee situations, it’s important for HR professionals and anyone else who deals with managing and monitoring leaves of absence in their companies to understand this field.

Learning Objectives:

  • Overview of job protected leave types: California Family Rights Act (CFRA); Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL); California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA); baby bonding (“parental leave”); leave for domestic violence victims; leave for alcohol and drug rehabilitation; state paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014; and state workers’ compensation.
  • Overview of topics related to protected leave types: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), California ADA, Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA); and compliance with interactive process requirements.
  • Details about Leaves for Victims of Crime and Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking, including written documentation and usage of sick leave, vacation or PTO time.
  • Details about federal and state Military Leave and Military Spouse Leave, including the “escalator principle”; reinstatement; and termination restrictions.
  • Overview of wage replacement leave types: California Paid Sick Leave under the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014; kin care; organ or bone marrow donor leave; state workers’ compensation; Paid Family Leave (PFL); and State Disability Insurance (SDI).
  • Expanded details on the California Paid Sick Leave including annual grant vs. accrual methods; pay day obligations; and other record-keeping requirements.
  • Overview of other types of required leaves: voting, jury duty or witness, school activities; volunteer emergency responder, civil air patrol, and bereavement.
  • Managing leaves of absence with company benefits including paid time off (PTO) and vacation.
  • How the leave types interact with one another.
  • Required notices and postings related to leave types.
  • Case studies and workshop activities will be used throughout the seminar to demonstrate and reinforce concepts presented.

Areas Covered:

  • Description and features of the various leave types.
  • Eligibility requirements for various types of leave.
  • Medical certification, posting and notice requirements for specific types of leave.
  • Pay obligations for the employee under certain leave requirements.
  • Benefits provided and methods for employees on leave.
  • Leaves interactions – how to put them together?
  • Lactation accommodation requirements.
  • Considerations before deciding to deny requests for leave of absence
  • Obligations and suggestions for communicating with employees on leaves of absence.
  • Interactive process requirements including suggestions for record-keeping and ongoing management, especially under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Managing performance of employees who are on intermittent leave and accommodation including documentation best-practices.

Who will Benefit:

  • Human resources professionals
  • Safety managers
  • Office managers (especially for companies with no in-house HR departments)
  • Supervisors and managers (non-HR)
  • Anyone who oversees safety-related and benefit-related operations
  • Risk Managers
  • Business Owners
  • Controllers/ CFOs / Financial Managers
  • Companies, non-profits, school districts, governmental agencies and quasi-governmental agencies
DAY 01(8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)
  • 08.30 AM - 09.00 AM - Registration
  • 09.00 AM - Session Start Time
  • 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
    • Introduction: review agenda; ice- breaker, housekeeping items
  • 9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

    Overview of Protected Leaves of Absence

    • California Family Rights Act (CFRA); Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL); California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA); baby bonding (“parental leave”); leave for domestic violence victims; leave for alcohol and drug rehabilitation leave; state- mandated paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Family Act of 2014; and state workers’ compensation.
    • Topics related to protected leave types: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); Americans with Disabilities Act AMendments Act (ADAAA); California ADA; Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA); and compliance with interactive process requirements.
    • Expanded discussion about federal and state Military Spouse Leave - including the “escalator principle”; reinstatement; and restrictions pertaining to termination.
    • Other required leaves to include in your employee handbook and policies: Leaves for Victims of Crime and Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking - including written documentation and usage of sick leave, vacation, or PTO time.
    • Small group exercises to demonstrate and aid comprehension of these concepts.
  • 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM Break
  • 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

    Overview of Wage - replacement Leaves of Absence

    • California Paid Sick Leave under the Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014; kin care; organ or bone marrow donor leave; state workers’ compensation; Paid Foamily Leave (PFL); and State Disability Insurance (SDI).
    • Expanded discussion on the California Paid Sick Leave including annual grant vs. accrual methods; pay day obligations; and other record- keeping requirements.
    • Overview of other types of required leaves: voting, jury duty or witness, school activities, volunteer emergency responder, civil air patrol, and bereavement.
    • Small group exercises to demonstrate and aid comprehension of these concepts.
  • 12:05 PM - 1:05 PM Lunch
  • 1:05 PM - 1:20 PM Everyone getting seated
  • 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

    Putting It All Together: Overlapping and Integrating Leave Types.

    • Integrating ADA, FEHA, and Workers’ Compensation with employer benefits and time- off.
    • Lactation requirements.
    • The importance and criticality of job descriptions.
    • Documentation, certifications, and ongoing record- keeping.
    • Small group exercises and case studies to help reinforce concepts.
  • 2:35 PM - 2:55 PM Break
  • 2:55 PM - 4:10 PM

    Putting It All Together: Overlapping and Integrating Leave Types.

    • Integrating ADA, FEHA, and Workers’ Compensation with employer benefits and time- off.
    • The importance and criticality of job descriptions.
    • Documentation, certifications, and ongoing record- keeping.
    • Small group exercises and case studies to help reinforce concepts.
  • 4:15 PM - 4:30 PM
    • Day 1 summary
DAY 02(8:30 AM - 12:30 PM)
  • 08.30 AM - 09.00 AM - Registration
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Get Grounded and Get Ahead (of Potential Problems): Strategies to Proactively Manage Leaves of Absence and Performance

    • How to continue managing performance for employees using leaves of absence.
    • Essential job functions - employer best practices for keeping job descriptions up- to- date
    • Progressive discipline - why this is a necessary component of your company’s operating structure
    • Check- in’s are key: conversations, communication, and coaching.
    • Supervisor’s role and employee’s role in performance management and leaves management.
    • Small group exercises and case studies to help demonstrate concepts.
  • 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM Break
  • 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

    Leaves Management: Key Points to Help You Practically Fulfill Employer Obligations

    • Partnerships to effectively manage leaves of absence: teamwork among HR, Safety, and Leaders.
    • Obligations and suggestions for communicating with employees on leaves of absence.
    • Required notices and postings for compliance and communication.
    • Small group exercises to help demonstrate concepts.
  • 12:05 PM - 12:30 PM
    • Seminar summary and wrap-up
Seminar (Price/Register)
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