FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows many employees to take job protected leave. California state law almost always provide employees with the same or greater rights and protections than the FMLA, especially in situations involving pregnancy and parental leave. For this reason, even though the FMLA is enforceable in California, we can often disregard it in favor of state law. One notable advantage to the FMLA is that, under some circumstances, it allows for "liquidated damages" for economic losses, meaning that the court may double the amount an individual receives for their lost wages.

To be eligible for leave under the FMLA, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1250 hours within the prior 12 months. There must also be at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee’s worksite.

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with a new baby, for the employee’s own serious health condition, or to care for a family member (child, parent, spouse) with a serious health condition. Leave under FMLA runs concurrently with California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law and the California Family Rights Act. In other words, FMLA does not add to the total amount of leave time an employee can take under California state law for bonding or for serious health conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

The FMLA’s military family leave provisions, when applicable, allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for a “qualifying exigency” arising out of the deployment of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent to a foreign country. The FMLA also entitles eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of Military Caregiver leave when the employee is the spouse, parent, son, daughter, or next of kin of the covered servicemember.

FAQ’S ABOUT The FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

How often can I take FMLA leave?
If you are an eligible employee with a qualifying reason for leave, you can take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period or, for military caregiver leave, up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12 month period.
Under the FMLA your employer may require you to use your accrued sick or vacation leave. If your employer does not require to use your accrued sick or vacation leave, you can choose to.
A serious health condition under the CFRA is one that requires inpatient care or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.

IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE BEEN DENIED LEAVE YOU WERE ENTITLED TO, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE.

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