California Government Code Section 12945.6

CA Govt Code § 12945.6 (2017)  

(a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to do any of the following:

(1) Refuse to allow an employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, and who works at a worksite in which the employer employs at least 20 employees within 75 miles, upon request, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. If, on or before the commencement of this parental leave, the employer does not provide a guarantee of employment in the same or a comparable position upon the termination of the leave, the employer shall be deemed to have refused to allow the leave. The employee shall be entitled to utilize accrued vacation pay, paid sick time, other accrued paid time off, or other paid or unpaid time off negotiated with the employer, during the period of parental leave.

(2) Refuse to maintain and pay for coverage for an eligible employee who takes parental leave pursuant to this section under a group health plan, as defined in Section 5000(b)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, for the duration of the leave, not to exceed 12 weeks over the course of a 12-month period, commencing on the date that the parental leave commences, at the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued to work in his or her position for the duration of the leave.

(b) An employee is entitled to take, in addition to the leave provided pursuant to this section, leave provided pursuant to Section 12945 if the employee is otherwise qualified for that leave.

(c) This section shall not apply to an employee who is subject to both Section 12945.2 and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

(d) An employer may recover the premium that the employer paid as required by this section for maintaining coverage for the employee under the group health plan, if both of the following conditions occur:

(1) The employee fails to return from leave after the period of leave to which the employee is entitled has expired.

(2) The failure of the employee to return from leave is for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee.

(e) In any case in which both parents entitled to leave under subdivision (a) are employed by the same employer, the employer is not required to grant leave in connection with the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child that would allow the parents parental leave totaling more than the amount specified in subdivision (a). The employer may, but is not required to, grant simultaneous leave to both of these employees.

(f) Parental leave taken pursuant to this section shall run concurrently to parental leave taken as described in Sections 44977.5, 45196.1, 87780.1, and 88196.1 of the Education Code.

(g) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire, or to discharge, fine, suspend, expel, or discriminate against, an individual because of either of the following:

(1) An individual’s exercise of the right to parental leave provided by subdivision (a).

(2) An individual’s giving information or testimony as to his or her own parental leave, or another person’s parental leave, in an inquiry or proceeding related to rights guaranteed under this section.

(h) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under this section.

(i) For purposes of this section, “employer” means either of the following:

(1) A person who directly employs 20 or more persons to perform services for a wage or salary.

(2) The state, and any political or civil subdivision of the state and cities.

(j) To the extent that state regulations interpreting the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, also known as the California Family Rights Act (Sections 12945.2 and 19702.3), are within the scope of, and not inconsistent with this section or with other state law, including the California Constitution, the council shall incorporate those regulations by reference to govern leave under this section.

(k) The department, upon receiving the necessary funding, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall create a parental leave mediation pilot program. Under the pilot program, an employer may, within 60 days of receipt of a right-to-sue notice, request all parties to participate in the department’s Mediation Division Program. If an employer requests mediation within 60 days of receipt of a right-to-sue notice, an employee shall not pursue any civil action under this section until the mediation is complete. The employee’s statute of limitations, including for all related claims not under this section, shall be tolled upon receipt of the employer’s request to participate in the department’s Mediation Division Program until the mediation is complete. For purposes of this subdivision, a mediation is complete when, at any time after the employer’s request, either party notifies the department’s Mediation Division Program and all other parties that it is electing not to participate in, or is withdrawing from, the mediation or the department notifies the parties that it believes further mediation would be fruitless.

(l) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 686, Sec. 2. (SB 63) Effective January 1, 2018. Repealed as of January 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Sec. 3 of Stats. 2017, Ch.686.)

Last modified: October 25, 2018