The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act give eligible workers the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, employment leave per year for medical or family reasons. All employers who are subject to the FMLA/CFRA should give the desired leave, and it is against the law for employers to fire someone or treat them badly because they took the leave. Even though these laws have been in place for more than twenty years, many employers still don’t follow them or respect their employees’ protected leave rights.
Who can take FMLA and CFRA leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) etc employees take a total of twelve weeks off in 12 months for the following:
- If a worker has a serious medical condition,
- To take care of a spouse, child, or parent who is sick in a serious way
- When a baby is born
- Taking care of a child you just adopted or fostered
Workers who have been employed at their job for at least a year and who have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours are considered eligible. The Family and Medical Leave Act applies to all private businesses within 75 miles with 50 or more workers. A company can legally ask for a doctor’s note when you ask for time off, but they can’t ask you to sign a medical release or waiver.
The main difference between the FMLA and the CFRA is that registered domestic partners are not considered spouses under federal law, but they are under the CFRA. Also, under California’s new Parental Leave Act, people who work for businesses with 20 to 49 employees within 75 miles now have the opportunity to utilize parental leave.
Possible FMLA/CFRA Law violations
- Dismissal of the worker during the leave period
- Firing the employee upon his or her return to the workplace if the decision to terminate is related to the leave.
- Significant alterations to the employee’s employment contract, such as a pay cut or transfer to a less desirable place or department, after the employee’s return to work.
- Interference with or denial of the ability to take FMLA or CFRA leave
- Dismissal of an employee who has complained about how his or her FMLA/CFRA rights have been infringed.
Leave Notice Requirements
You must provide your employer with notice of your leave according to Family and Medical Leave Act. Generally speaking, you are not required to specify that this leave is FMLA-related. You must explain precisely the reason you have to take time off. This could be to care for your ailing mother or to be with your new-born child after your partner gives birth. This leave is legally protected, so your employer must grant it to you.
If you plan on taking a leave a second time for the same cause, you must identify the leave as FMLA-protected. This is because you must inform your employer that this is a legally protected leave and not something they can grant at their discretion.
If you anticipate needing to take leave, you must provide your employer with at least 30 days’ notice. This is not feasible in an emergency. This situation is an exception to the norm. Your employer may inquire as to the reason for your unexpected FMLA leave to ensure that it’s protected by law.
Contact Our Trusted Los Angeles Family and Medical Leave Lawyer Immediately
If you were denied family, medical, or disability leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, you need a Family and Medical Leave Lawyer. For a FREE consultation with one of our Family and Medical Leave Lawyer, please call Southern California Employment Law Group PC at (424) 688-1057.