Expansion of CFRA Family members

Change In Definition of “Family Member” for CFRA & Sick Leave

A new statute, AB 1041, expands the definition of “family member” for purposes of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and paid sick leave.

CFRA requires an employer with 5 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to a total of 12 workweeks of time off in any 12-month period for various reasons, including caring for a “family member” with a serious health condition. Similarly, California’s paid sick leave law requires an employer to provide eligible employees with paid sick days that may be used for various reasons, including the care of a “family member.”

In each law, “family member” is presently defined the same way and includes:

  • A biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, regardless of age or dependency status.
  • A biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.
  • A spouse or registered domestic partner.
  • A grandparent and grandchild.
  • A sibling.

AB 1041 expands the definition of “family member” in each law to include a “designated person.” This means an individual related by blood to the employee or whose association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship.  The employee must identify the designated person at the time the employee requests the leave. For purposes of identifying the “designated person,” employers can limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.


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