CA: Ban-the-Box and New Parent Leave Laws

In 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two pieces of legislation: one enacting new “Ban-the-Box” provisions and one expanding parental leave rights under the New Parent Leave Act. The CA Fair Employment and Housing Council has now released a set of draft regulations to implement these new laws. The proposed regulations will be reviewed at a public hearing on April 4th, and it is anticipated that both regulations will go into effect later this year.

Ban-the-Box Regulations
After the enactment of “Ban-the-Box” in California, the CA Fair Employment and Housing Council amended the regulations “to incorproate the provisions of the new law into the existing regulatory scheme”. The draft regulation clarifies these regulations in a few areas, including:

Under AB 1008, if an employer decides to revoke a conditional offer of employment after reviewing criminal conviction history, it is required to notify the applicant in writing and provide them at least “five business days” to respond. In order to “avoid disputes over the meaning of the statute’s potentially ambiguous use of ‘five business days’,” the FEHC proposes to specify that the “five business days” is calculated from the date of receipt of the notice by the applicant.

New Parent Leave Act
The proposed regulations “simply incorporate references to the NPLA into the existing CFRA regulations.”

However, there are a few important areas in which the FEHC proposes to distinguish the NPLA. They state that this is necessary to “identify differences between CFRA and NPLA, namely jurisdictional differences and the latter’s lack of a ‘key employee’ defense and the lack of a provision allowing employers to mandate the use of vacation time or other accrued paid time off.”

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