Navigating the Interplay of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Leave Act


Instructor: Greg Chartier
Product ID: 706823
Training Level: Basic to Advance

  • Duration: 75 Min
This webinar will help to clarify the legal obligations under the different laws but, more importantly, help to explain how they interact with each other, or in some cases, don’t interact at all.
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Why Should You Attend:

Too often, employers create problems for themselves when it comes to navigating their legal obligations under the various federal and local laws on leave and, in particular, medical leave.

This lack of understanding can lead to tragic and costly consequences for both the employers and the employee who requested leave.

While the right to leave and the obligation to conduct a reasonable accommodation for a disability is clear, how the different laws interact with each other can be confusing and awkward, at best.

Any employer with employees in California should attend but it is particularly important for smaller employers due to the recent expansion of the CFRA to include employers with 5 or more employees. Any employer planning an expansion into California should attend as well.

Areas Covered in the Webinar:

  • Details of the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • Details of the California Family Rights Act with up-to-date information on the latest changes.
  • Updates on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • How the FMLA, CFRA and PDA interact with each other.
  • The interaction of both state and federal leave legislation.
  • How employers can avoid legal issues with their leave policies.

Who Will Benefit:

  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Human Resource Manager
  • VP Human Resources
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Small Business Owners
Instructor Profile:
Greg Chartier

Greg Chartier
Principal, HRinfo4u

Dr. Chartier is the Principal of HRinfo4u, a human resource consulting firm and a well-known educator and speaker. As a consultant, he works with organizations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their human resource function. He has worked extensively in designing, developing and implementing human resource program, procedures and systems for smaller and mid-size firms up and down the Hudson Valley.

Greg is a thought-provoking professional speaker and his wisdom and insights into management and leadership make him an electrifying speaker and seminar leader. His seminars are customized to reinforce company mission, vision, values and culture and the content is practical for team leaders, managers, supervisors and executives alike.

Dr. Chartier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, an MBA in Finance and a PhD in Human Resources. He is a National Member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and is certified by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) as well as a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) by SHRM.

He served on the Board of the local SHRM Chapter, the Westchester Human Resources Management Association (WHRMA), as the Treasurer for nine years. In addition, Greg served on the Board of the Business Council of Westchester in a variety of capacities including Chair of the Human Resources Council.

He worked with the Continuing and Professional Education Program at Pace University and was a member of the faculty of the New York Medical College, in the Masters’ in Public Health Program.

He is the author of What Law Did You Break Today? A guide to the federal laws and regulations that employers must comply with.

Topic Background:

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), passed in 1993, entitles eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job protected leave in a twelve-month period for specified family and medical reasons, or for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a covered military member is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty. It also allows eligible employees to take up to twenty-six weeks of job-protected leave in a “single twelve-month period” to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) amended the 1991 California family and medical leave law to generally mirror the federal FMLA. The CFRA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for their own serious health condition or a family member with a serious health condition, or to bond with a new child. In addition, California law requires covered employers to provide employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition with unpaid, job-protected leave (PDL) and/or accommodations.

The CFRA has been amended several times, the most recent in at the start of 2021, when coverage of the law was to apply to smaller employers—from employers with 50 or more employees to those with just 5 or more employees. In addition, the legislature added “parent-in-laws” under the coverage of care for a family member.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. For the purposes of leave, if a woman is temporarily unable to perform her job due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, the employer or other covered entity must treat her in the same way as it treats any other temporarily disabled employee.

The PDA was effectively expanded in the 2015 Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, requiring employers to treat pregnant women the same as any other temporarily disabled employee.

Each of these create burdens on the employer to both apply the law effectively but to carefully examine if and how they interact with each other.

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