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AB 2399 – Makes Technical And Clarifying Changes To Paid Family Leave Provisions For Qualifying Exigence Leave Related To Active Duty Military Service for Public Employers
In 2018, SB 1123 was signed into law and expanded California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits program administered by the EDD to also provide such benefits to include time off to participate in a “qualifying exigency” related to covered active duty or a call to covered active duty for an individual’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States. Such “qualifying exigency” leave is one of the leaves of absence entitlements already made available to covered employees under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). AB 2399 makes several technical and clarifying amendments to this law, including the addition of a list of “qualifying exigencies” and definitions of covered military members who would create a “qualifying exigency” to qualify an employee for PFL benefits.
It is important to remember that PFL is not an actual leave of absence entitlement, but rather a wage replacement benefit that covered employees can use while out of work for a specified reason. As applied to “qualifying exigency” leaves of absence, any such leave of absence entitlement would be covered under FMLA or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) [as revised by SB 1383]. In addition, public employers are excluded by default from PFL, but can opt-in either as a full entity or by bargaining unit. Therefore, these PFL benefits are only provided to public sector employees whose agencies have opted into the PFL program.
(AB 2399 amends Sections 3302 and 3307 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.)