California passed a new law expanding family leave rights to employees working for employers with five to 50 employees. The family leave rights were previously limited to employees of employers with more than 50 employees.

Under this new law, employees of small employers would be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to:

  1. Bond with a new child.
  2. Tend to the employee’s own “serious health condition.”
  3. Care for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner who has a “serious health condition.”
  4. Undergo various duties related to active duty service in the U.S. armed forces by the employee or the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent.

A “serious health condition” is a physical or mental condition involving either inpatient care or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider. An employee qualifies for these rights upon 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the previous 12-month period.

The law takes effect January 1, 2021.