Under state and federal law, employees have certain rights and protections with respect to medical leave and leaves of absence. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) prevent employers from firing an employee for exercising his or her rights under FMLA or CFRA, respectively. In general, an employee can take leaves of absence for up to 12 weeks for serious health conditions or to bond with a child.
Employers who employ 50 or more employees must follow the requirements of the FMLA and CFRA. In order to be eligible for leave an employee must be employed by their employer for at least 12 months, and must have worked at least 1250 hours during the preceding 12 months. When taking leave, employees are required to submit necessary paperwork and documentation, including appropriate medical certifications, and request leave in a timely manner.
California law requires that most employees be allowed to return to his or her same job after a leaves of absence. If an employee’s job has been eliminated or changed, he or she must be offered a similar job or one that offers comparable pay, development opportunities, and involves similar duties. However, if an employer can prove that an employee would have been laid off or that a comparable job isn’t available, the employee doesn’t have a right to return to work.
If you believe that your employer (or former employer) failed to grant you a needed medical leave or retaliated against you for taking a needed medical leave of absence, contact Henk Leonard for us to do a free evaluation of your situation to see if we can assist you in a claim against your employer.