California Family Rights Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) established important rights for employees who need to take time off for their own health or to care for a family member. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) goes even farther in protecting workers and extending their rights.

California Employment Counsel, APC, can help if your employer blocked your leave request or took adverse action against you for exercising your employee rights. Our lawyers are well-versed in the California Family Rights Act and related state and federal laws. We advocate for clients across Orange County and Southern California.

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Your Medical Leave Rights Under California Law

The foundation of CFRA is job-protected time off. As an employee, you should not have to suffer in silence or compromise your own health. As a parent, spouse or partner, you should not have to choose between your job and a family member who needs you.

California's recently enacted law provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for (a) bonding with a newborn or newly adopted child, (b) caring for a child, parent or spouse with a serious health condition or (c) the employee's own serious health condition.

Employers covered by CFRA cannot cite hardship to deny leave. The employer must continue your health insurance and all other benefits and accruals. You can spend vacation and sick days to offset the lost wages if taking leave for your own illness or injury. The law covers any combination of continuous, incremental or short-notice leave.

The California Family Rights Act parallels the FMLA, but goes beyond federal law in key ways:

  • CFRA treats domestic partners the same as spouses.
  • CFRA specifically grants baby bonding for fathers.
  • CFRA recognizes additional medical conditions.

The Family Rights Act applies only after the arrival of a new child. Mothers are also entitled to up to four months of pregnancy disability leave (PDL) under California law for complications of pregnancy or delivery.

Violations Of The California Family Rights Act

Our lawyers can intervene if you experienced any pushback or reprisal relating to a medical/family leave:

  • Denial of leave or false statements about your rights
  • Harassment or demotion for taking time off
  • Termination for requesting leave
  • Termination as soon as your protected leave ends
  • Failure to reinstate you to the same or comparable job

Employers may fabricate other reasons to justify firing an employee who takes "excessive" leave. Our lawyers are skilled at making the connection between the protected leave and the adverse employment action.

If you were wrongfully discharged or your employer interfered with your statutory rights, we will pursue compensation for the emotional and economic damages. We are here to advise and support you throughout the process.

We can clarify your rights and discuss your legal claims in a free consultation. Contact us online or call 714-462-3017 or toll free at 866-545-2415.

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