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October 13, 2022

California Expands Family and Paid Sick Leave to care for “Designated Persons”

On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 1041, which states that in addition to the family members outlined in California’s paid sick leave law and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), an employee also can take leave to care for a “designated person.”

Currently, under the CFRA, eligible employees may take job-protected leave to care for their child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner. AB 1041 adds a “designated person” to that list.

AB 1041 defines designated person as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” Since the legislation does not define who may be considered “the equivalent of a family relationship,” employers are cautioned against challenging the designation.

The employee need not designate the “designated person” in advance; the employee may identify the designee at the time they request the leave. However, employers may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.

AB 1041 also adds a “designated person” to the list of family members an employee may take time off to care for under California’s Paid Sick Leave law.  For purposes of paid sick leave, a “designated person” need not be related or be “the equivalent of a family relationship.” As under CFRA, employers are permitted to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for paid sick days.