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Paid Family Leave Guide

Navigating the intricacies of paid family leave is essential for both employers and employees to ensure compliance and support during critical life events. At the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, our HR resources provide comprehensive information on paid family leave policies, regulations, and best practices. Explore our expert guidance to help your business implement effective leave policies that support your workforce, promote work-life balance, and adhere to legal requirements. Stay informed and equipped to manage paid family leave with confidence and clarity.

How To: Administer Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave (PFL) is a California-sponsored insurance program within the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.​​​

PFL covers employees at organizations of any size. If a worker is covered by SDI, the worker is also covered by this benefit. The PFL program is funded through worker contributions to the SDI program. If you withhold SDI contributions from employees’ paychecks, you are also withholding for PFL.

PFL is not a leave of absence. PFL provides employees with partial wage replacement for up to eight weeks in any 12-month period while absent from work to care for a seriously ill or injured family member or bonding with a new child or a child in connection with foster care or adoption.

1. Comply with Paid Family Leave Posting and Notice Requirements

State law requires employers to post an Employment Development Department (EDD) notice that contains information concerning PFL (DE 1857A). This notice is included in CalChamber’s California and Federal Employment Notices Poster.

Employers must also give the Paid Family Leave Program pamphlet to each employee:

  • Upon hire; and
  • When an employee takes a leave of absence for a covered reason.

Both the poster and the pamphlet are available as part of CalChamber’s Required Notices Kit. All items can be ordered through the CalChamber Store.

2. Recognize Qualifying Events

An employee may be eligible for PFL benefits only when there are certain qualifying events:

  • To care for a seriously ill family member
  • To bond with a new child;
  • To bond with a child in connection with the adoption or foster care placement of that child; or
  • To take time off to participate in a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of the individual’s spouse, domestic partner, child or parent in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • A seriously ill family member includes a parent, spouse, child, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent-in-law.

These terms all have specific definitions. Remember to provide the PFL pamphlet to an employee that leaves work for one of these covered reasons (see Step 1).

3. Inform Employees About the Process

The EDD’s Disability Insurance Branch administers the PFL program. Employees apply directly to the EDD for benefits. The EDD will determine if the employee is eligible or ineligible for the benefits. It is not up to the employer.

The EDD can require medical and other documentation in support of the claim. The EDD can find that an employee is not eligible for PFL benefits for any day that another family member is able and available to care for the seriously ill family member for the same period of time. Employers are not required to provide a claim form to the employee. Instruct employees to contact the EDD directly or to visit the EDD’s PFL web page to obtain the form.

4. Required Paperwork for Employers

When an employee files a PFL claim with the EDD, the agency will contact you and provide you with the form that you need to fill out. You complete only the employer portion of the form. The EDD does the rest. Keep records of employee pay as required by state and federal law.

5. Required Use of Vacation

There is no waiting period before PFL benefits begin. You can require that the employee use up to two weeks of unused vacation leave or paid time off (PTO) prior to the employee’s initial receipt of PFL benefits. If an employee has not accumulated two weeks of vacation, the PFL law does not authorize employers to require the use of sick leave in lieu of vacation/PTO.

6. Coordinate with Other Wages and Benefits

Employers should comply with legal requirements regarding the integration of PFL with other benefits and wages. If you integrate wages with PFL, make sure that employees don't receive more than 100 percent of their gross weekly wage. PFL can be used to provide wage replacement for employees who take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act

The HR Resources Guide contains data from the Cal Chamber HR California website and other sources. It is intended for the private use of members of the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce only, and is not to be duplicated without consent from Cal Chamber and the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce. All forms must be requested from the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce, and will be provided upon confirmation of membership status.

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