Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
For employees in California, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are two of the primary laws that provide protection for eligible leave. Each has specific eligibility requirements, and each provides protection for specific types of eligible leave.
Basic FMLA Rights and CFRA Eligibility Requirements
The basic eligibility requirements under the FMLA and CFRA are as follows:
- Employment Duration: You must have at least 12 months of service with your employer;
- Hours Worked: You must have worked at least 1,250 hours for your employer during the past 12 months; and
- Employer Size: Your employer must have at least 50 employees employed within 75 miles of your job site.
Types of Leave Under the FMLA and CFRA:
Under the FMLA and CFRA, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of protected leave:
- for the birth of a child, and to bond with a newborn child;
- to bond with an adopted child or a child placed with the employee for foster care;
- to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition;
- to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
- for certain circumstances arising when the employee’s family member is on or called to active duty status as a member of the Regular Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves
Leave under the FMLA and CFRA generally may be taken all at once or intermittently on an as-needed basis. Under certain circumstances, your employer may ask you to take leave in two-week blocks. If you have questions about these options, contact a Los Angeles FMLA lawyer for a free, confidential consultation. (213) 863-4276.
Additional Pregnancy and New Parent Protected Leave Laws
In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act, two other laws provide important additional protections for pregnant women and new parents in California: (i) the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), and (ii) the California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA).
1. California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL)
The PDLL provides up to four months of job-protected leave for women who experience a pregnancy disability. A “pregnancy disability” is defined as a physical or mental condition related to pregnancy or childbirth that, in the opinion of her health care provider, either: (i) prevents performance of essential job duties, or (ii) would result in undue risk to the woman or her pregnancy if job performance is continued. As identified by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), examples of eligible pregnancy disabilities include (but are not limited to):
- Gestational diabetes
- Loss of pregnancy
- Medical conditions requiring bed rest
- Post-partum depression
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Prenatal or postnatal care
- Severe morning sickness
The PDLL applies to California employers with five or more employees. Leave under the PDLL may also be taken all at once or intermittently on an as-needed basis.
2. California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA)
The NPLA is similar in scope to the FMLA and CFRA in terms of the types of protected leave offered to new parents. However, the NPLA applies to employers with between 20 and 49 employees. If you work for a large company, you should request protected leave under the FMLA or the CFRA. If you work for a smaller employer that employs between 20 and 49 employees, you should request leave under the NPLA.
Additional Protected Leave Laws for Employees with Disabilities and Serious Health Conditions
Unfortunately, many employers will attempt to terminate employees who have exhausted their protected leave under the laws discussed above. If you have used up your protected leave eligibility under these laws and you need additional time off due to a disability or serious health condition, you may be entitled to additional job-protected leave as a “reasonable accommodation” under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you have questions about these options, contact us for a complimentary, risk-free consultation. (213) 863-4276.
Let a Los Angeles FMLA Attorney Fight for You
If you believe that your employer has violated your rights to a protected leave of absence, a Los Angeles employment attorney from Custis Law, P.C. can help. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, please call (213) 863-4276 or inquire online today.
We handle all protected leave violations cases on a contingency basis. That means you pay us nothing unless and until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.