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Can foster and adoptive parents get time off work to bond with a child?

California Family Rights Act

The California Family Rights Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period:

  • for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child
  • for the employee’s own serious health condition, or
  • to care for a family member with a serious health condition .

A new law, called the New Parent Leave Act, extends bonding leave rights to employees of smaller employers. As of January 1, 2018, employers with between 20 and 49 employees must provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with a new child.

Both laws have the same eligibility requirements as the federal law: The employee must have worked for the employer for 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the leave, and work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees (or 20 under the New Parent Leave Act). Unlike the federal law, the California laws also cover domestic partners and children of domestic partners.

California Military Leave

Employers with at least 25 employees must allow eligible employees to take up to ten days of unpaid leave while a spouse is on leave from deployment during a period of military conflict.