Understanding California’s family and medical leave policies
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Understanding California’s family and medical leave policies

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Firm News

If you need time off to care for yourself or a family member, you can check if you qualify for California’s family and medical leave policies. One of your biggest worries is whether your employer will approve or deny your request.

California offers strong protections through the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These laws ensure eligible employees can take unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons without losing their jobs.

Who is eligible to take family and medical leave?

You need to meet specific criteria to qualify for family and medical leave under CFRA and FMLA. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Employment duration: You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months. These months don’t need to be consecutive.
  • Hours worked: Before your leave starts, you must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months of your stay.
  • Employer size: For FMLA, your employer must have at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. For CFRA, this requirement also includes 50 employees, but recent changes have expanded coverage to smaller employers with at least 5 employees.
  • Covered reasons: You can take leave for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a seriously ill family member or to recover from your serious health condition.

Meeting these criteria means taking up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave while keeping your job and health benefits. You may double-check with a legal professional to understand your eligibility.

What should you do if your employer rejects your leave?

If your employer denies your leave request even if you meet the requirements, do not worry. You can clarify it with your employer and double-check your eligibility to ensure you meet all the necessary conditions. You can also approach your company’s Human Resources department to discuss the denial and request a review of your case.

If they still deny your leave request, you may seek help from a legal professional who can guide you in filing a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Department of Labor.