Federal law protects American workers’ rights to take limited leave for medical reasons without losing their jobs. It is important for employees to understand and enforce these rights. The rights were enacted by Congress to allow workers the right to take medical leave when it is needed and to support family members when they are facing medical issues. These rights are further supplemented by California state law. If you believe your employer is violating these rights, schedule a consultation with a San Francisco FMLA attorney.
FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of job-protected unpaid leave in a twelve-month period. Group health coverage benefits must continue, and the employee cannot lose his or her position as a result of taking this protected leave. The following circumstances qualify an eligible employee for protected leave under FMLA:
Additional military caregiver leave (up to 26 weeks) is available to allow an employee to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness. The eligible employee must be the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
FMLA is only available to eligible employees. The be eligible:
It is also important to understand that many minor medical situations will not qualify as a “serious health condition” under FMLA. In these circumstances, employees might be able to use paid time off or other benefits but will not be protected by the provisions of the FMLA.
In addition to federal rights under FMLA, California workers also have state rights under the California Family Rights Act. It is important for employees to understand the different rights they have under both state and federal law. By going to an employer with documentation of the serious health condition and an understanding of applicable law, employees can reduce the chance of confusion or missteps in exercising their right to take family leave.
Family leave is an important step toward obtaining a work-life balance. More importantly, it is a legal right that is protected by both state and federal law. Contact the office of Minnis & Smallets today to schedule a consultation with an experienced San Francisco employment law attorney. By enforcing the right to take family medical leave, all California workers will be better able to attend to their families’ medical needs.
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