California Family Rights Act (CFRA)


California Family Rights Act Lawyers

Representing Qualified Employees Who Were Denied Family Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) mandate that certain employers grant family and medical leave to qualifying employees. The FMLA and CFRA both offer unpaid, job-protected leave.

If you have been denied your right to take leave, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys at Valiant Law. We will evaluate your case and potential next steps. 

The Basics of Family and Medical Leave in California

The CFRA, passed in 1993, was updated effective Jan. 1, 2021. The law now applies to all California businesses with at least five employees (used to be 50). This does not mean that every employee of a covered employer is entitled to leave benefits. To qualify, an employee must have 12 months of service and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the requested start of the leave.

Leave is available in the following situations:

  • Birth, adoption, or foster placement of a new child
  • Care for a spouse, domestic partner, child, adult child, child of a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a biological or adoptive parent with a “serious health condition”
  • The employee is personally unable to work due to a “serious health condition”

If eligible, an employee may take up to 12 weeks of leave over 12 months. Note that the CFRA only mandates unpaid leave. An employer can require an employee to use accrued paid leave under certain circumstances.

If the employer provides health benefits, they must continue to provide coverage during the leave. Employees can also continue to participate in employee benefit plans and retirement plans.

CFRA Notice Requirements

The employee must give 30 days’ notice before beginning leave for a “foreseeable” event, such as the due date to give birth to a child, or the date of a scheduled operation for a spouse. In an emergency or unforeseen event, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable. The employer must respond to the request within five days. 

Pregnancy Disability Leave

In addition to CFRA leave, employers of five or more employees must provide job-protected leave or accommodations to employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Pregnancy disability leave (PDL) is available while an employee is actually disabled, up to a total of four months. 

Pregnancy disability leave is available in the following circumstances:

  • Prenatal or postnatal care
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Doctor-ordered bed rest
  • Childbirth
  • Recovery from childbirth
  • Loss or end of pregnancy
  • Other related medical conditions

Return-To-Work Rights

After CFRA or PDL, the employee is guaranteed to be able to return to the same or comparable position. A comparable position must be equal in terms of pay, benefits, shift, schedule, geographic area, and working conditions. The employee should enjoy the same privileges and status. 

Working to Ensure Employee Rights Under CFRA

Family leave laws are complicated and can be changed legislatively. Employers do not always follow or understand their obligations. Our team of skilled attorneys understands how FMLA, CFRA, and other employment laws intersect. We aggressively represent our clients’ rights.

If you have been improperly denied leave or reinstatement under CFRA or PDL, call Valiant Law. When we take your case, you will get the full force of years of experience and commitment to standing up for California employees.

Discuss your CFRA or PDL case with us in a free initial consultation. Schedule an appointment by calling (909) 254-5771 or reaching out online.



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