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Proposed Amendments to Employment Regulations Regarding Criminal History, the California Family Rights Act, and the New Parent Leave Act

Home / California Family Rights ActProposed Amendments to Employment Regulations Regarding Criminal History, the California Family Rights Act, and the New Parent Leave Act The Fair Employment and Housing Council of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing provided notice on February 16, 2018 that it intends to amend sections 11017.1 and 11087-97 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations. Amendment would follow a public hearing at 10:00 a.m. on April 4, 2018 in Los Angeles and review of written comments due by 5:00 p.m. on the same day. The amendment is intended to clarify interpretations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. In 2017, two bills (AB 1008 and SB 63) added new sections to the FEHA. AB 1007 is intended to “ban the box” by prohibiting employers from seeking criminal history information until a conditional offer of employment is made. SB 63 enacts the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA), expanding parental leave rights at employers with 20-49 employees. The Council contends that the proposed amendments are intended to describe how the two new laws operate and fit into the FEHA by centralizing, clarifying, and codifying the two statutes. Specifically, the Council indicates that the amendments will: “(1) articulate the parameters of AB 1008 in an orderly fashion in the context of…

California Appellate Court Holds Supervisor-Induced Stress Is Not a Disability

Home / California Family Rights ActEmployers in California with five or more employees must be concerned with both mental and physical disability discrimination allegations under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  The definition of mental disability is expanding.  Offering some hope to employers, however, California’s Third District Court of Appeal in Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, 2015 Cal. App. Lexis 455 (May 26, 2015) found no disability where the plaintiff was diagnosed by her treating physician as having an adjustment disorder with anxiety resulting from dealing with Human Resources and her manager.  Sutter granted Plaintiff Michaelin Higgins-Williams leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) based on this diagnosis, but she exhausted the maximum amount of leave she could take under these laws. Ms. Higgins-Williams then returned to work briefly.  She received a negative performance evaluation by her supervisor and alleged she was singled out and given an inappropriate amount of work.  Ms. Higgins-Williams claimed her manager grabbed her arm and yelled at her, after which she suffered a panic attack and left work, never to return. Sutter allowed Ms. Higgins-Williams five months leave of absence based on a variety of doctor’s notes and as an accommodation for her disability.  The doctor’s notes first stated that Ms.…