Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employees have leave rights for
- A serious health condition of the employee;
- A serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent;
- The birth of a child and to care for the child;
- And placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
Eligible employees can take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12 month period. For employees who work part-time, the amount of leave is determined on a proportional basis to the employee’s schedule.
California Family Rights Act
California has its own version of the FMLA, known as the California Family Rights Act. For all practical purposes, the protection afforded to employees is identical. One critical difference in favor of the California version, however, is the allowance of attorney fees to plaintiffs under the California law. In many cases, attorney fees exceed the amount of loss suffered by the employee. We are the only known California law firm that actually includes court-ordered attorney fees in your recovery to be shared in the same percentage as the underlying contingency.
A successful result
Numerous potential clients contact us to advise that they are not being allowed to return to work following an approved leave. In one recent case, our Los Angeles-based client was out for a year, or about 9 months beyond approved FMLA leave. Did the employer have an obligation to allow the employee to return to work? We successfully argue “yes”, since the accommodation for the condition involved merely required a short-term extension of “otherwise approved” leave. This may not work in all cases if your medical condition is not a “protected” condition. Chat with us about whether or not you have a “protected” condition, which then allows for leave plus accommodation.
FMLA vs CFRA
As with the FMLA, an employer who directly employs 50 or more employees to perform services for a salary or wages is covered under the California Family Rights Act. CFRA applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees for each working day during each of the 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. In order for an employee to be entitled to a leave of absence under CFRA, the employee must have a serious health condition; a serious health condition of a child, spouse, registered domestic partner, or parent; the birth of a child; and the adoption and placement of a child for foster care.
Unlike the FMLA, CFRA excludes pregnancy and childbirth-related medical conditions from the definition of a serious medical condition.
Similar to FMLA, CFRA provides eligible employees of covered employers to 12 workweeks of leave within a 12 month period. However, under CFRA, the employer may require the employee to substitute accrued vacation and/or sick leave where the leave is taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition.
Stephen Danz & Associates is California’s largest statewide law firm that’s dedicated to representing employees in disputes against their employers.
Stephen Danz & Associates based in Los Angeles, California, also protects clients from retaliation, discrimination, and harassment involving dismissal, demotion, or denial of accommodation, or denial of leave, based on age, race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, marital status, association, physical or mental disability, or other legally protected classifications. Additionally, we represent employees if they have not been paid the proper wages including overtime or minimum wage or been given the proper meal breaks.
If you believe that you are the victim of family medical leave violations, contact one of our Medical Leave Violations lawyers in California to set up your free consultation to discuss this matter. We take cases on a contingency basis and collect no attorney fees unless we win your case.