Family & Medical Leave


Workplace Leave Attorney Assisting Clients in California

Whether an employee is pregnant, plans to adopt a child, or develops a serious medical condition, there are federal and states laws that can trigger family and medical leave. As the California Chamber of Commerce explains, the two laws that employees most often invoke in California when seeking leaves of absence are the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). These laws are applicable to all employers that have 50 or more employees (regardless of whether they are public or private), and they “require covered employers to provide time off for personal illness, to attend to the illness of a family member, and in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.”

Sometimes the laws provide the same rights for employees and contain the same responsibilities for employers, while sometimes they have discrepancies depending upon the specific circumstances of the case. When you have questions about leave under the FMLA and/or the CFRA, you should discuss your concerns with a California employment law attorney.

Which Employers Are Covered Under FMLA and CFRA?

Not all employers in the state of California are covered under FMLA and CFRA. Specifically, these laws cover private employers who have at least 50 employees during any given 20-week period. All public employers are covered under the FMLA and CFRA regardless of their total number of employees.

Why is it important to understand who is covered? In short, this is the first step in determining whether or not an employee works for a covered employer will determine whether she is entitled to family and medical leave.

Which Employees Are Covered Under FMLA and CFRA?

  • Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months during the last seven years;
  • Has worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12 months of employment; and
  • Currently works at a location where there are at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Leave Permitted by FMLA and CFRA for California Employees

If an employee is eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave, what does that leave entail? The law allows for unpaid, job-protected leave for a 12-week period. In other words, if you meet one of the following conditions specified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), you are permitted by law to request twelve workweeks of unpaid leave:

  • Birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • Placement with employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • Care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • Serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; and
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Contact a California Labor Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about family and medical leave, you should reach out to a California FMLA lawyer to discuss your questions. Contact Valiant Law today.


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