New 2021 Requirements for California Small Businesses


By Ward Heinrichs Esq., San Diego Employment Attorney


BIG BLEND RADIO INTERVIEW: San Diego attorney Ward Heinrichs discusses the new regulations for California small business as outlined in his article below. Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean or SoundCloud.

Dramatic Expansion of California Family Rights Act (CFRA):  The CFRA leave law had required businesses who employed 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees.  Now, employers who employ as few as 5 employees must give 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the same reasons.  Additionally, the CFRA expands coverage to include grandchildren, grandparents, siblings, and parents-in-law.  The total amount of CFRA leave an employee may take in a 12-month period is 12 weeks.

Employees are eligible for such leave only if they worked for their employers for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year.  Eligible employees may take CFRA leave for the following reasons:

  • The employee’s own serious health condition (not including disability due to pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions, for which up to four months of leave is allowed, separate from CFRA, under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave law);
  • New child bonding leave within 12 months of birth, adoption, or foster care placement. (This leave is in addition to Pregnancy Disability Leave law);
  • To care for a child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious health condition;
  • Qualifying exigencies related to the “covered active duty or call to covered active duty” of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Sexual Harassment Training: California businesses with at least 5 employees must provide all employees with sexual harassment training by January 1, 2021.  Supervisors and managers must get 2 hours of training, and all other employees must receive 1 hour of training.  Employers must re-train their workers every two years and give new employees training within 6 months.

Child Abuse Reporting & Training for Businesses that Employ Minors: California has long required educational institutions, government service employees, medical and counseling agencies, etc. to be mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.  Now, all Human Resource employees and supervisors of minors, who work for a private business that employs 5 or more workers, will have a mandatory duty to report child abuse and neglect.  Further, those same HR employees and supervisors are required to receive 3-4 hours of child abuse and neglect training.  The Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the California State Department of Social Services provides free, online training that satisfies the mandatory training requirements.

Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit

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Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law.

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