Family Medical Leave

Los Angeles Family Medical Leave Act Dispute Lawyers

Fighting for California employees trying to exercise their right to medical leave

Whether you have a serious medical condition, you just had a baby or your parent needs you to care for him or her at home because of a serious health condition, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides protection for your job and medical benefits while you are away from work. This leave creates the opportunity to take the time you need without worrying about the security of your job or health benefits.

There are unfortunate instances when employers make it difficult for employees to take this leave. If an employer retaliates against the employee because he or she took FMLA or CFRA leave, either at a current job or a previous job, the employee may have grounds to file a claim or a lawsuit against the employer.

The experienced Los Angeles FMLA lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are here to protect the rights of employees who are exercising their right to take a leave for a serious illness, injury, impairment, or condition. If you have faced retaliation from an employer because you took family medical leave, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Department of Labor (DOL) defines the FMLA as a law which "entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.”

Under FMLA, eligible employees can receive 12 work weeks of leave in a 12-month period for:

  • Birth of a child and care of a newborn within one year of birth;
  • Adoption or foster care of a child within one year of placement;
  • Care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee incapable of doing his or her job;
  • Any qualifying urgent need or demand arising from the employee's spouse, child or parent as a covered military member on "covered active duty;" or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if that covered service member is the employee's spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

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Qualifications for Family and Medical Leave Act

To qualify for the FMLA, the employee must have been with his or her employer for 12 months, and the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the start of the leave.

The private sector employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the location during the preceding year. Employers are required by law to post information about FMLA to their employees if the workplace qualifies for FMLA.

What is the California Family Rights Act?

The CFRA is a state law with similar provisions to the federal FMLA with a few important distinctions:

  • The employer may require 30 days advance notice when possible when an employee intends to take CFRA leave. If it is impossible to give notice because of an emergency, notice must be given as soon as possible.
  • The employer may require a letter from the health care provider of the individual with the serious health condition.

The World Institute on Disability lists the following four major differences between FMLA and CFRA:

  1. Pregnancy as a serious health condition (SHC)
    • FMLA: Covered
    • CFRA: Not covered*
  1. Registered domestic partners treated equally as spouses
    • FMLA: Not covered
    • CFRA: Covered
  1. “Qualifying exigency" due to active duty military service
    • FMLA: Covered
    • CFRA: Not covered
  1. Care for an ill or injured service member
    • FMLA: Covered
    • CFRA: Covered if the service member is a spouse, child or parent of the employee

*California provides Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) for up to four months, and the employer only needs to have five or more employees to be subject to this requirement.

What are some examples of retaliation for taking family medical leave?

Within the context of requesting or taking FMLA or CFRA leave, retaliatory actions are like those taken for other employment law situations on the part of the employer, which might include:

  • Refusing to hire someone who took medical leave at a previous job
  • Demoting or refusing to promote employees because they requested or took medical leave
  • Using FMLA or CFRA leave as a factor in taking disciplinary actions
  • Taking away important work duties
  • Loss of employment benefits
  • Counting medical leave under "no fault" attendance policies
  • Firing an employee because he or she took medical leave

If you are facing retaliation because you requested or took medical leave for which you were legally qualified, consult with a Los Angeles FMLA attorney who will protect your right to a workplace that is free from retaliation.

Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles employment dispute attorney today

At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our trusted Los Angeles employment dispute attorneys understand the complexity of state and federal family medical leave. Let our firm’s experience guide you. Call our office at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form today to learn more about what we can do for you.