The FMLA and the CFRA
The federal law that provides workers with the right to take medical leave is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). California has various family leave laws, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
Both the FMLA and CFRA authorize eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. To be eligible, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and must have worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period. Both laws apply to employers with 50 or more employees.
Reasons for leave include:
- If an employee is unable to work because he or she has a serious medical health condition
- If an employee must provide care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- For the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child
Employers may not fire or retaliate against employees for taking FMLA/CFRA leave. Employees who take FMLA/CFRA leave are entitled to return to their position or an equivalent position after the end of their leave period, subject to limited exceptions (e.g., valid independent grounds for terminating employee prior to return from leave or failure by employee to timely return in accordance with the law).
The California Paid Family Leave Act
The Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA) is a California law which provides additional protections to qualifying employees. To be eligible, employees must pay into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) fund. Employees are not required to work for their employer for at least a year or for 1,250 hours to be covered. In addition, the PFLA applies to employers of all sizes.
The PFLA provides up to six weeks of partial pay for employees who take time off work to care for a child, spouse or registered domestic partner with a serious health condition. It also provides partial pay for employees who take time off to bond with a newborn baby or newly adopted child.
Has Your Employer Violated Your Rights?
If you feel you have been terminated, demoted, harassed or otherwise retaliated against for taking medical leave, contact our experienced employment law attorneys. We are pleased to offer a free consultation and case evaluation.
Our attorneys offer more than 50 years of combined experience. As a firm concentrating in employment law, we have helped thousands of employees whose rights have been violated. You can rely on us for the sound advice and vigorous representation you require.