Leaves Of Absence


Leaves of Absence in California

Top Labor & Employment Attorney Fighting for Military, Family & Medical Leave

When you get sick and need to take time off from work, or if you need to take a leave as a result of a pregnancy or a disability, are there certain laws that protect employees’ jobs and allow them to take leaves of absence? In short, there are both federal laws and California state laws in place that ensure an employee, under certain circumstances, cannot lose her job as a result of taking particular types of leaves of absence.

If you are an employer with questions about how to handle employee requests for leaves of absence, or if you are an employee who is seeking a leave of absence and have been denied by your employer, you should speak with a California employment discrimination lawyer about your options. 

Types of Leaves of Absence Cases We Handle

Our firm handles many different questions for employers and employees in California concerning leaves of absence, including but not limited to:

Understanding Federal Law and Leaves of Absence

Generally speaking, there are three federal laws under which an employee can request a leave of absence:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA);
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII); and
  • Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

Under Federal Law, Employees Can Request Unpaid Leaves of Absence for Some of the Following Reasons:

  • Reasonable accommodation for a disability (under the ADA);
  • Pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions (ADA, Title VII, and the FMLA);
  • Caring for a newborn child or a newly adopted child (FMLA);
  • Serious health condition (FMLA); and
  • Family member experiencing a serious medical condition that requires the employee’s care (FMLA).

California Law and Leaves of Absence From the Workplace

As with other laws prohibiting certain types of discrimination and harassment, California has greater protections in place for employees than does federal law. The following is a selected list of types of leave that may be available to California employees under state law:

  • Pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions (California Family Rights Act, or CFRA);
  • Pregnancy disability leave (California Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA);
  • Paid sick leave (Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014);
  • Care for a sick family member (California Labor Code Section 233);
  • Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking (California Labor Code Section 230);
  • Victims of a serious crime (California Labor Code Section 230.2); and
  • Military spouse leave during spouse’s leave from deployment (California Military and Veterans Code 395.10).

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides numerous rights to employees concerning leaves of absence. The CFRA includes registered domestic partners as serious family members in the event an employee needs to take a leave of absence to provide care for a serious health condition.

What Happens When Federal Law and California State Law Leaves Overlap?

Employees generally cannot take FMLA leave for a particular reason like a serious illness and then follow it up with additional leave through the CFRA, for example. Instead, when an employee’s leave qualifies for both a federal and state law leave, the leave time will need to run concurrently.

If you have questions about workplace leaves of absence, you should speak with an employment law attorney in California as soon as possible. Contact Valiant Law to learn more.



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