There are numerous reasons an employee in Marin County may request a leave of absence from her job. For instance, she may be pregnant and needs time away from work to care for a newborn. Or, perhaps the employee needs time away from work to care for a seriously ill parent or spouse. In other cases, the employee may need to take a leave of absence, for instance, due to a disability or a medical condition. In order to be eligible for a job-protected leave of absence, employees must work for covered employers, and the employee also must meet certain requirements.
An experienced Marin County employment law attorney can speak with you in more detail about leaves of absences and how both federal and state laws may be applicable.
If an employee wants to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks per year to deal with her own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition, she will need to request leave under either the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal law, or under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). To take leave because of a serious illness—either the employee’s own or that of a family member—the following must be true:
FMLA leave also permits employees to take leave in certain situations related to the military deployment of a family member, as well as to care for a newborn baby or a child placed through foster care or adoption. The CFRA also allows leave time for a parent to care for a newborn baby or a child placed through foster care or adoption.
Disability leave is also permitted under federal and state law. Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee who works for an employer of at least 15 people can request a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation for her disability. Even if the employer does not typically grant leaves of absence, the ADA can require a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employee who works for an employer of at least 5 employees can request a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation for her disability.
Most required leave is unpaid. However, it is important for employers and employees in Marin County to know that California passed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act in 2014. Under this law, employees in Marin County who have worked for an employer for at least 30 days can be eligible for paid sick leave.
The employee will accrue paid sick leave in the form of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours that employee works. Once the employee has worked for that employer for 90 days, she can be eligible to use the paid sick leave.
Do you have questions about employee rights and employer responsibilities concerning leaves of absence? An experienced employment law attorney in Marin County can assist you. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.