Taking Unpaid Family and Medical Leave in California
State and federal laws give employees in California the right to take unpaid leave for family and medical purposes without the fear of retaliation or termination from their job. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provide protections for workers who need to take time away from work to dedicate time to other important family and medical issues. As an employee in California, these laws may apply and protect your job. To learn more, call or contact an experienced California employment lawyer today.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employers in California that have at least 50 employees for at least twenty weeks in the current or previous year. Eligible employees are those who have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, over 1,250 hours during the previous year, and worked at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius who have a qualifying medical or family reason for their unpaid leave. Qualifying reasons under FMLA include the following:
- Recuperating from a serious medical issue,
- Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious medical issue,
- Bonding with a new child that has been born, adopted, or placed in your foster home,
- Handle issues related to a family member’s military service, or
- Care for a family member injured during active duty in military service.
Employees who qualify under FMLA are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period, except for military caregivers who can take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave. FMLA unpaid leave renews every 12 months so long as the worker remains eligible.
The California Family Rights Act
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the state version of FMLA and applies to more workers in California. The CFRA applies to employers in California with five or more employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave over a 12-month period for qualifying family or medical reasons. A worker must have more than 12 months of service and over 1,250 hours of service over the last twelve months. Qualifying reasons include the following:
- An employee’s own serious medical condition,
- An employee’s need to care for a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious medical condition,
- An employee’s wish to bond with their new child within 12 months of their birth, adoption, or foster care placement, and
- Certain situations involving military leave.
For the purposes of the CFRA, a serious medical condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental disability that requires at-home or in-patient care or continued treatment by healthcare professionals.
Call or Contact a Lawyer Today
Do you need to take time away from work but concerned about repercussions for taking your legally entitled leave? If so, call or contact an experienced California employment lawyer in your area today to learn more about your legal options.