California's Government Code contains the California Family Rights Act. Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act is another name for it (although most people just call it CFRA). In addition, the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") contains this provision.

Here's a quick guide to CFRA and how it might apply to you, as often handled by our prescreened Santa Monica Employment Law Attorneys in California.

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Everything You Need To Know About CFRA In Santa Monica, California

Who Can Take A Leave Of Absence In California?

CFRA allows you to take a leave of absence from work (if your job qualifies) for the following:

  • For the birth of a child
  • You require time off because your child is suffering from a terrible illness.
  • You require time off to care for a parent or spouse who is suffering from a terrible illness.
  • You require time off due to a serious health condition that prevents you from performing your job functions.

However, CFRA does not allow you to take a leave of absence owing to a handicap caused by pregnancy, delivery, or other medical issues. But don't worry, another California statute permits you to do so. Pregnancy Disability Leave is the name of the statute.

That said, to know if your employment situation qualifies for a CFRA, consult with a Santa Monica Employment Law Attorney to help you out.

What Is Considered A "Serious Health Condition?"

A serious health condition, according to the law, is defined as sickness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves one or more of the following:

  • Hospital, hospice, or residential health care institution inpatient care (this means the patient is staying in the hospital)
  • Continued therapy or supervision by a healthcare professional.
  • Generally, unless it is related to an accident or disease or inpatient care is required due to consequences, voluntary or aesthetic treatments are not considered "severe health conditions" under CFRA.
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Do You Meet The Criteria For CFRA?

Regrettably, CFRA does not apply to all California employees. Under this law, you can only take a leave of absence if:

  • You've been employed by the company for at least a year.
  • You've put in at least 1250 hours during the last 12 months (this averages out to a little less than 5hrs per workday)
  • Your company has a presence in California.
  • Within a 75-mile radius of your workplace, your employer has 50 or more employees. Starting January 1, 2020, the employee threshold of "50 or more employees" within 75 miles will be reduced to "at least 20 employees."

If you're still a little confused about whether you're qualified or not, contact a Santa Monica Employment Lawyer to help you.

How Long Are Your Allowed To Take Time Off?

Employees in California are entitled to the following benefits under the California Family Rights Act:

  • In every 12-month period, you may take up to 12 work weeks off. You can do all of this in one go or break it up into smaller chunks. That implies you can spend a little time here and a little time there as needed.
  • Your job is protected by law. When your vacation is up, your employer is required to return you to the same or similar role.
    • In terms of responsibilities, tasks, compensation, benefits, working conditions, and schedule, a "comparable job" is one that has the same or similar obligations, duties, pay, benefits, and schedule as your previous one. It should be in the same place where you worked before taking the leave. Courts in California are likely to allow a close location as well.
  • If you are a member of a group health plan and receive health insurance via your workplace, your employer is responsible for continuing to pay for your health and dental insurance while you are away.
    • If you do not return at the end of your leave, your employer has the right to demand that you pay these premiums.
  • You continue to gain seniority while on leave. Employers are not permitted to claim your leave as a gap in service. This only applies to employees who are members of a union or are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

That said, if any of your above rights are being infringed, contact Santa Monica Employment Law Attorney immediately. A Lawyer will know the way around employment law and can help you file the right documents and collect evidence.

What if Your Boss Refuses to Give You Paid Time Off?

Just because the law allows you to take a leave of absence doesn't imply your boss will be pleased with you. In fact, some businesses will boldly break the law and challenge you if you do so.

Should you resign from your job? No, if your employer has denied your leave of absence, quitting is usually not a good idea. While quitting may seem like the best decision, it will almost certainly harm your legal case in the long term.

If your employer refuses your request for leave, you have two options:

  • Send a written complaint to your company's appropriate authority. Make certain you file this complaint correctly. Include a note from your doctor, and be courteous and helpful. Do not put the company in jeopardy.
    • Make sure you specify that you require a leave of absence to care for yourself, your son, husband, or mother, who is suffering from a significant health condition. This move, hopefully, will be successful.
  • If your complaint is unsuccessful, you should seek legal advice. The Labor Law Attorney may advise you to write a written letter (along with a copy of your doctor's note) stating that you intend to return and take your leave nonetheless.
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Obviously, the major health issue that necessitated the absence isn't going to go away on its own. Your serious health condition, or that of a child, spouse, or parent, is likely to take precedence over your work. However, because each circumstance is unique, it is essential to consult with an attorney before taking any action.

If your employer refuses to allow or deliberately bars your return, you have the option of taking legal action. Consult with a Santa Monica Labor Law Attorney to help you.

What if Your Boss Retaliates Against You for Taking Time Off or Taking a Leave of Absence?

The California Family Rights Act makes it illegal for a corporation to fire, terminate, punish, expel, or discriminate against any employee for the following reasons:

  • Under this law, the person sought time off.
  • This person took a leave of absence as a result of the law.
  • The person provided information or testimony in any legal investigation or procedure involving CFRA rights.

That said, if your boss retaliates against you because you filed a leave, contact a Santa Monica Labor Lawyer immediately.

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