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California Governor Signs Family Leave Bill

CCGGAGov. Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 1383 (D-Jackson), which expands employee job-protected leave.

Under current law, employers with more than 50 employees are subject to the California Family Rights Act and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. CFRA and FMLA time off can be taken in increments as small as one hour and provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave.

Here is a description of the qualifying circumstances:

• The birth of child and bonding with the newborn.

• The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and bonding with the child.

• Caring for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent — but not a parent “in-law”) with a serious health condition.

• Medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

• Qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active-duty status as a member of the National Guard, reserves or regular Armed Forces.

Significant changes included

SB 1383 expands the California Family Rights Act by applying the 12 weeks of leave to all employers with five or more employees. An employee is only required to provide an employer with “reasonable notice,” and an employer must track the time off as “CFRA leave” or it may not count against the 12 weeks.

SB 1383 also changes requirements for qualifying for CFRA leave by amending the definition of family member for whom the employee can take leave. It now includes a child of a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or domestic partner.

Additionally, SB 1383 removes the requirement that a “child” be under the age of 18 or a dependent adult child. This means that the Family and Medical Leave Act and CFRA’s qualifying requirements no longer conform with each other. A qualifying employee of an employer with 50 or more employees could take three months of leave under CFRA to care for a domestic partner, child of a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.

The employee could return to work and then take another three months off under FMLA for the employee’s own medical condition or the medical condition of a qualifying person.

Legal implications

The leave mandated under SB 1383 is enforced through a private right of action that includes compensatory damages, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Any employee who believes an employer did not properly administer the leave, interfered with the leave or denied the leave, can commence litigation.
The requirements of SB 1383 go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association provided this information.

NCC Contamination Prevention Videos

Plastic contamination poses a serious threat to U.S. cotton’s reputation in the global fiber market. The National Cotton Council has developed a YouTube video training series on the subject that consists of 12 chapters. The videos are available in both English and Spanish versions. Here are the topics:

cotton bales, texas

During 2019, 51.7% of all plastic calls at the Corpus Christi, Texas, cotton classing office were yellow, followed by 29.7% pink, 6.5% blue and 5.1% other.

• Introduction by Dr. Gary Adams, NCC president/CEO.

• Introduction to prevention of plastic contamination. A review of sources of potential plastic contamination and how they affect the textile processing, resulting in decreased demand for U.S. cotton.

• In the field (producers, custom harvesters and harvester operators). A review of where to look for plastic contaminates in the field before harvest and how to properly store empty rolls of round module wrap.

• During harvest (producers, custom harvesters and harvester operators). A review of the importance of following the John Deere round module harvester guides and keeping open communication with the gin manager.

• Machine operation (producers, custom harvesters and harvester operators). A review of machine calibration and common problems seen on the John Deere 7760, CP690 and CS690 cotton harvesters that can lead to contamination from round module wrap.

• Module handling (producers, custom harvesters, harvester operators, staging tractor drivers and module truck drivers). A review of the best handling practices to prevent contamination when moving round modules in the field.

• How to stage modules in the field (producers, custom harvesters, harvester operators, staging tractor drivers and module truck drivers). A review of optimal location/alignment when staging round modules in the field.

• Loading a module truck (module truck drivers). A review of preferred module truck chain types and correct chain-to-ground speed when picking up round modules in a field using a traditional module truck.

• Loading a flatbed truck (module loader drivers in the field). A review of best loading practices when using a flatbed trailer to haul round modules from the field to the gin.

• Unloading modules in the gin yard (module truck drivers, drivers of module loaders at the gin, gin managers/superintendents and gin employees). A review of the optimal location/alignment for staging round modules on the gin yard.

• How to handle round modules at the gin (gin managers/superintendents, gin module feeder employees and other gin employees). A review of how to avoid wrap punctures or tears before ginning.

• Unwrapping/cutting open modules (gin managers/superintendents, gin module feeder employees and other gin employees).

A review of the importance of following proper wrap removal techniques and John Deere round module cut guidelines to avoid plastic contamination when unwrapping.

• Conclusion. This chapter is for everyone.

The National Cotton Council contributed to this article.