Workers in California have the right to take medical leave under both state and federal laws. It is important for employees to know how to protect their rights under both the FMLA and the CFRA. If your leave does not meet the requirements of these laws, or you do not communicate your rights to your employer, you could be left without legal protection. Minnis and Smallets works hard to protect our clients’ family and medical leave rights. Our FMLA attorneys near San Francisco are here to help you return to work as easily as possible.
The basic idea of the Family Medical Leave Act is this: employees should be allowed to take unpaid leave (either for their own medical condition or a family member’s) without fear of losing their job. The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave. This leave may be taken all at once or in smaller blocks of time. This is known as “intermittent leave.”
If your leave is protected by the FMLA, you are entitled to return to the same or comparable job upon return from your leave. If the employer wants to move you into a different position upon your return, it must be substantially similar to the position you left. The new job must have similar conditions, including pay, scheduling, location, responsibilities, and opportunities for advancement.
California law also protects family and medical leave rights through the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Like the FMLA, employees must have enough hours of service to be eligible for protected leave. The CFRA generally allows for up to twelve weeks of leave that runs concurrently with FMLA leave. As a result, a California employee receives twelve weeks total and cannot “stack” these schedules to receive more than twelve weeks of unpaid leave.
So how does the CFRA help employees? California law allows for leave in a broader range of circumstances, including if you work for a small employer with 5 or more employees. It is important to consult with an FMLA attorney about your circumstances to determine whether you need protection under federal law, state law, or both.
If you know you will be out of work for an extended period of time, it is important to contact an FMLA attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will help you protect your leave rights as soon as you put in the request. If you do not properly document your eligible condition, or communicate the length of your request, or even state the basic fact that your leave is protected by the FMLA, your employer may not honor your request. The easiest way to protect your job is to get legal advice before you ever submit a leave request to your employer.
You don’t have to spend hours online searching for a “San Francisco FMLA lawyer near me.” Minnis and Smallets is a California employment law firm that protects workers’ rights under FMLA and the CFRA. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Bay Area employment law attorney. The sooner you have the advice of an FMLA lawyer, the better your leave rights will be.