There are many situations in which a worker may need extended time off to deal with a family, medical, or other personal matter. The laws governing such leave of absences are somewhat complicated, especially in California, where there are a number of state laws that afford substantially greater rights to employees than are provided by federal law. All California employees, therefore, need to be aware of what laws apply to them, what protections they offer, and what leaves of absence do not fall within the law’s protections.
At Minnis & Smallets, LLP, our experienced employment attorneys assist employees throughout Oakland, California, in understanding and enforcing their rights under these laws. We strive to resolve leave of absence disputes amicably, but if necessary, we are prepared to fight for our clients in court.
The two major leave of absence laws that employees in Oakland should know about are the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Both laws cover employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the past year. The FMLA only covers businesses with at least 50 employees working within a 75-mile radius. However, under certain circumstances, CFRA applies to employers with just 20-49 workers within the same radius.
Generally, the FMLA and CFRA both allow qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave each year to care for a seriously ill family member, deal with the employee’s own health, or bond with a new child. The employer is not required to pay employees during a leave of absence under the FMLA or CFRA, but the worker’s job is protected. In other words, the employer cannot demote the employee or take away any benefits or seniority because the employee exercises his or her rights under these laws. If the employer offers paid vacation time or similar paid time off, an employee may use such time concurrent with FMLA or CFRA leave.
The FMLA and CFRA are just two of several laws that apply to leaves of absence. Some of the other circumstances in which an Oakland-based employee may have the right to take a leave of absence from work include:
These are just a few of the many laws governing leaves of absence in California. So if you are an Oakland employee who has a question or concern about leave rights, contact Minnis & Smallets, LLP, today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.