Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), qualified employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid employee leave for:

  • the employee’s own serious health condition
  • the serious health condition of an employee’s child, parent, or spouse
  • women who are unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth
  • the birth of a child (for purposes of bonding)
  • placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care
  • any qualifying exigency” arising out of a family member’s active duty military status

Eligibility for FMLA/CFRA leave

Employees must (1) work for their employer for at least 12 months; (2) work at a worksite with at least 50 employees, or if there are less than 50 employees, a worksite where the company employs at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the worksite; and (3) worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the day they begin the leave.

Job and Benefit Protections
While on a protected leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s medical benefits as it would have done if the employee continued working. When returning from an FMLA or CFRA leave an employer must, in most circumstances, give the employee the same job or an equivalent position.

California Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides partial wage replacement for employees taking time off work to care for seriously ill family members or to bond with foster or adopted children. Currently, the PFL defines “family” to include children, spouses or domestic partners, and parents. In September 2013, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 770, which expands PFL to include caring for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parents-in-law, effective July 1, 2014. All employees covered by the State Disability Insurance (SDI) qualify for benefits under the PFL. Employees do not need to work for a set period to qualify and even employees of small employers are eligible for PFL. California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA) provides for up to four months of leave.

California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA)

Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act, employers may require a medical certification from a health care provider. Generally, for normal pregnancies, providers will certify a leave of up to four weeks before birth, and six weeks after birth. For women who are disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth, employees may take up to four months of PDLA leave.

For individuals who take PDLA leave, employers must continue to pay for health care benefits. An employee generally has the right to return to the same position once her PDL leave is over unless, for legitimate business reasons unrelated to the employee’s pregnancy or leave, the employee would have been laid off even if she had not taken the leave.

Ghuman Law Firm assists clients in navigating the complexities of seeking medical leave protections and help clients understand the intersecting laws relating to medical leave. In order to provide the best counsel and advice to our clients, we stay up to date on the changing landscape of medical leave laws. Our firm stands out from others because our detailed and through analysis of cases allows us to properly assess medical leave violations and seek proper legal remedies.