Federal and California laws protect employees rights to take unpaid leave for certain situations such as: a serious health condition; caring for a family member with a serious health condition; pregnancy or childbirth; or having a new child in the family. Employees who take medical leave are entitled to return to their job after leave. Denying an employee leave or retaliating against or firing an employee who requests leave is illegal.
About Family and Medical Leave in California
There are two different laws that may govern family and medical leave in California: the federal, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). These laws only apply to certain employees. For example, to qualify, an employee must work at a worksite with at least 50 employees or a worksite where the company employs 50 or more employees within a radius of 75 miles. Additionally, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the day they need to begin leave.
Employees who qualify under these acts are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for their own personal medical concerns or to care for a family member.
Employees may have the right to what is known as “intermittent leave, which means leave in short increments, typically one day or less. Employees use intermittent leave to deal with many different conditions, including chronic medical conditions that require frequent doctor’s appointments.
The laws that govern family and medical leave may also entitle employees to be reinstated to their jobs when they return from leave. Laws may also make it unlawful for an employer to terminate or demote an employee who has requested such leave.
Hiring an Employment Lawyer in Oakland, CA
You may be entitled to rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act. If you have been fired or demoted for requesting family or medical leave in California, or refused leave to care for yourself or a family member, please feel free to contact Hunter Pyle Law for a free, confidential initial intake.