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Leave of Absence

California Labor Laws Allow Employees to Take a Leave of Absence for Numerous Reasons

Employees in California are permitted to take time off for short or long periods of time without losing their jobs under the state’s leave of absence legislation. You may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, or even longer, if you seek or take a leave of absence under one of the conditions recognized by law.

If you have terminated for taking a leave of absence or have been told that you cannot take a leave of absence you are legally allowed to take, contact DLC Law at (626) 285-8815 to learn how we can help.

There are many laws that cover leaves of absence

California has some of the most liberal leave of absence policies in the country. They add crucial safeguards for employees who need time off to cope with a family emergency, personal health concerns, pregnancy, or even connect with a new kid. The following are a few of these laws:

  • The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • New Parental Leave Act (NPLA)
  • Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act
  • Labor Code 230.1 (Domestic Violence), 233 (Kin Care), 1025-1028 (Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation)
  • The Michelle Maykin Memorial Protection Act (Organ and Bone Marrow)
  • The Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA)

Workers used to find it very hard to take time off work under these situations. Nothing prevented a person from losing their job or being reassigned to a less satisfying position after returning from leave unless the firm established favorable policies. However, you can now lawfully take a leave of absence for a number of reasons without fear of losing your work.

Potential reasons to take a leave of absence in California

Employees’ rights to request a leave of absence for a range of valid reasons are protected by California law. These laws, however, do not apply to all workers equally. For example, the FMLA and CFRA only apply to businesses that have 50 or more workers who have worked for at least 1250 hours over the course of a year and who work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Other laws only apply to a small number of employees. The NPLA, for example, applies to businesses with 20 to 50 employees.

An employee may ask for time off to:

  • Care for a family member: The FMLA and CFRA both enable qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of absence in a 12-month period to care for a very ill relative. Any sickness or health condition that necessitates ongoing medical treatment or in-patient care in residential medical care, hospice, or hospital facility qualifies. A spouse, a child, registered domestic partner, or parent is an eligible relative.
  • Bond with a new child: Under the National Parental Leave Act, a parent can take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period to care for or bond with a new child. A biological or adoptive child is included in this category.
  • Give birth or recuperate from a pregnancy: An employee can take up to 122 days off for medical reasons connected to pregnancy or childbirth. Employers with five or more workers, including all public employers, are subject to the legislation.
  • Recover from a health issue: Under California’s CFRA, an employee can take up to 12 weeks off to recover from a personal medical condition. Any illness or injury that stops you from executing your work tasks qualifies. However, your employer may need proof of your health problem, such as a doctor’s note.
  • Attend a loved one’s funeral: If your employer’s regulations allow it, you can lawfully take time off to grieve a loved one’s death.
  • Vote in an election: Under California’s Election Code, an employer must provide up to 2 hours of paid time to an employee who is unable to vote outside of work hours. However, the employee must give at least three days’ notice.
  • Participate in a trial: If you give fair notice, you can take time off work to serve on a jury or as a witness under the Labor Code. However, the law does not require that this leave be compensated.
  • Obtain protection after being the victim of a violent crime: Take time off work to protect yourself or recuperate if you have been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Obtaining a restraining order, medical care, or other assistance are examples of this.
  • Participate in a criminal trial as a victim: You may be able to take time off work to participate in a criminal trial. This includes showing up for pre-trial, trial, sentence, and post-conviction release hearings.
  • Participate in a kid’s school activities: You have the option of requesting up to 40 hours per year to solve a childcare emergency or to participate in school activities.
  • Adult literacy: Employers with 25 or more workers must provide time off for their employees to further their education by enrolling them in an adult literacy program.
  • Participate in rehab: If you work for a company with more than 25 workers, they must allow you to go to drug/alcohol rehab if you need it.
  • Donate an organ or bone marrow: If your business employs 15 or more employees, you can take paid absence to donate an organ or bone marrow.
  • Military family and spouse leave: For military family or spouse leave, the FMLA enables you to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for a military service member’s kid, spouse, or parent.

It’s crucial to note that each of these grounds for leave comes with its own set of restrictions and responsibilities that a worker who wants to take advantage of them must meet. At DLC Law, we can help you understand these terms and duties.

If you believe you have been fired or threatened with losing your job due to a legal cause for a leave of absence, contact DLC Law at (626) 285-8815 for a consultation with an employment law attorney.

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