Are you pregnant or adopting a child and wondering whether you can take a leave of absence in California? Do you have a seriously ill family member who needs assistance with care? Some of the reasons mentioned, as well as others, could make an employee eligible to take a job-protected leave from his or her place of employment in San Francisco. In other words, an employee may be able to request up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for him or herself, a child, or another family member with a serious illness.
It is important for employees to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to leaves of absence from the workplace in California. Both federal and state laws are in place to protect eligible employees who need to request leaves of absence, and generally speaking, California state laws tend to provide protections beyond those provided by federal laws. A San Francisco employment lawyer can tell you more about the laws that can allow an employee to take a leave of absence.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides for up to 12 work weeks of job-protected leave in a 12-month period for eligible employees. The following are reasons that an eligible employee can request and use FMLA leave:
During FMLA leave, employers are required to provide unpaid job-protected leave for the eligible employee, as well as to maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage.
How does an employee know if he or she is eligible for FMLA leave? The FMLA applies to “covered” employees, which include:
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must also have worked for the employer for at least 12 months as of the date the FMLA leave is to start, and have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer during the 12-month period prior to the date the FMLA leave is to start.
There are additional requirements for eligibility that a San Francisco employment law attorney can discuss with you.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides similar protections to those provided by the FMLA. If an employee is eligible for both FMLA and CFRA leave, the leave time runs concurrently. However, state law does provide for additional protections for pregnant women and for employees needing leave to bond with a new baby. A pregnant employee who works for an employer with 5 or more employees can take Pregnancy Disability Leave during the time period that the employee is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Pursuant to the California New Parent Leave Act, an employee who works for an employers with 20 or more employees may also be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with a baby.
There are additional federal and state laws through which employees may be eligible to take leaves of absence. If you have questions, you should speak with a San Francisco leave of absence attorney today. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.