Carlsbad, California Employment Attorneys
Our attorneys bring decades of experience and knowledge in guiding plaintiff employees. The law firm is focused on employment law and combating corporate discrimination, retaliation, and violation of state and federal laws. As one of the premier law groups throughout California, we have the resources and specialization to adequately represent our clients and our passion and results in resolving workplace disputes speak for itself. Join the thousands of others who have trusted our attorneys for decades. Stephen Danz and Associates focuses on representing individuals who have been discriminated against or wrongfully terminated. To ensure proper coverage, our lawyers cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape. In Carlsbad, California, our legal counselors are highly capable to handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals utilize our unparalleled experience and resources to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts.
This page’s focus is on the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), and the New Parent Leave Act (“NPLA”). Our attorneys frequently represent California employees who have been discriminated against for employer violations of these laws.
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
What is the FMLA?
One of the most common areas of discrimination is when employers violate FMLA. The law’s purpose is to enable employees to balance work and family life by taking leave for medical reasons, bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness, or because of a qualifying reason that arises from the employee’s family member’s active duty status.
California’s Family Rights Act
What is the CFRA?
Similar to the FMLA, the CFRA is also to permit workers to take leave to care for their families without the burden and concern for losing a job. The FMLA and the CFRA have almost identical provisions, and California courts’ many times rely on federal cases interpreting the FMLA for aid in interpreting the CFRA. The law directs the Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) to incorporate the New Parent Leave Act (“NPLA”) into the CFRA regulations while the regulations are within the scope of, and not inconsistent with, the NPLA. See the FEHC’s proposed amendments here: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fehcouncil/.
New Parent Leave Act
What is the NPLA?
The NPLA was enacted in 2017 because there were too many California workers without any job-protected family leave and many new parents struggling with an impossible choice between the well-being of their child and their financial security. To assist with this situation, the NPLA expanded the CFRA’s bonding-time leave entitlement to cover employees working for employers with 20 or more employees.
What do the FMLA and CFRA Have in Common?
The FMLA and the CFRA require certain covered employers to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the following reasons:
- For the employee’s own serious health condition;
- To care for an employee’s covered family member with a serious health condition; or
- To bond with employee’s newborn, adopted, or foster child.
Similar to the FMLA and CFRA, the NPLA allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave per year to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child. However, unlike the FMLA or CFRA, it does not allow an employee to take leave for his or her own serious health condition or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
In addition, the FMLA also allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave per year for a “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the employee’s covered family member is a military member:
- On covered active duty;
- On call to covered active duty status; or
- Who has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty.
Most commonly, our attorneys hear that employees may take FMLA and CFRA leave on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis. However, there have been several California employers that did not continue an employee’s required health benefits during the FMLA, CFRA or NPLA leave. Other violations occur when employees are not allowed to return to the same or an equivalent position following the leave. In a recent case, our Carlsbad attorney saw a situation where an employee waived, after the employer induced her to waive, his or her prospective rights under the FMLA or the CFRA.
What is Pregnancy Leave?
A San Diego associate of our firm recently represented an employee who was disabled by pregnancy and another by childbirth. Under law, anyone suffering from a disability resulting from pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition may qualify for up to 4 months of leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”). A California employer may designate PDLL leave as FMLA leave, but the CFRA specifically excludes pregnancy-related leave from coverage. But, when an the employee’s PDLL/FMLA leave ends, she may then qualify for up to 12 weeks of CFRA bonding time leave, resulting in a potential total leave period of 7 months. Moreover, the FMLA provides up to 26 weeks of leave per year to care for a seriously ill or injured service member or veteran. Sadly, this has become more commonplace in recent years due to San Diego’s large veteran community.