HR - Paid Family Leave - CA

Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include California faculty and staff unless otherwise indicated in the sections below. All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. 

Under California state law, Emerson College is required to deduct a certain amount from employees’ pay to fund California's Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which is administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). PFL is not a "leave" program, and it does not provide employees with leave beyond that provided by the College’s policies. Instead, PFL is a paid benefit program that provides eligible employees with partial wage replacement benefits for up to (6) six weeks in a 12-month period when employees need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling or to care for a newborn child, newly adopted child or placement of a child in foster care.

Policy Guidelines

Eligibility

Employees who need to take time off work to care for a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling or to care for a new child within the first year after birth or placement of the child with the employee may be eligible for PFL benefits. According to the EDD, employees who meet the following criteria may be eligible for PFL benefits:

  • Employees need to take time off work to care for a spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling with a serious health condition, or to care for a new child.
  • Employee must have lost wages because of the need to take time off work to care for a spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling with a serious health condition, or to care for a new child.
  • Employee must have earned at least $300 in any calendar quarter from which California State Disability Insurance (SDI) deductions were withheld during the base period.
  • Employee must submit completed claim forms to the EDD within 49 days of the date of leave. Forms can be found on the Paid Family Leave (PFL) website.

Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition of a patient that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility. This includes any period of incapacity (e.g., inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities) or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care, or continuing treatment by a physician or practitioner. Unless complications arise, cosmetic treatments, the common cold, influenza, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers and headaches other than a migraine are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition for purposes of PFL.

Leaves of Absence and Paid Family Leave (PFL) - Pay Continuation

Employees apply directly to the state for PFL benefits. PFL does not provide additional leave, job protection or reinstatement rights beyond those provided by the College’s California policies or by applicable state or federal law. Eligible California employees who are unable to work due to the serious health condition of a family member must apply for leaves of absence through Human Resources and for pay during the leave through the State of California. Though Paid Family Leave is funded entirely by employee contributions, the program is administered by the State under the State Disability Insurance (SDI), and not by the College. SDI is the way in which eligible California employees are paid when they cannot work because of non-work-related disability, illness or injury (including those relating to pregnancy and childbirth).

Vacation Time and Paid Family Leave (PFL)

The PFL program treats vacation time as wages earned. PFL benefits will be reduced by the amount of vacation time wages received and may render the employee ineligible for benefits depending on the amount of vacation leave wages received and the employee’s weekly benefit amount.

Other Information

Applying for PFL

For more information regarding eligibility for PFL benefits, call the EDD at (877) 238-4373, or visit the PFL website.

Related Policies

Key Offices to Contact 

Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.  

Links to Procedures or Forms

Contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for assistance.

Definitions

Not applicable

The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment.  This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.

Policy Effective Date:  May 2019