Wrongfully Denied Leave Under the California Family Rights Act

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Gov. Code, §§ 12945.1, 12945.2, 19702.3, secures an employee’s right to take leave from work for the following reasons: Birth of a child for purposes of bonding; Placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care; For the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent or spouse; For the employee’s own serious health condition.  The amount of notice an employee is required to give an employer before taking leave under the CFRA differs with the circumstances surrounding the need for leave.  However, there is a limit to the amount of time an employer can drag his or her feet before complying with an employee’s valid request.

Gov. Code, §§ 12945.1, 12945.2, 19702.3 provide that where an employee’s need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide the employer with reasonable advance notice of this need.  If the need for leave is foreseeable and based on planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of a family member, an employer can require the employee provide at least 30 days advance notice.  Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 7297.4, subd. (a)(2).

However, should the need for CFRA leave arise unforeseeably, the employee is protected from an employer who hesitates, for whatever reason, in granting leave.  The employee is first required to provide at least verbal notice sufficient to make the employer aware that the employee needs CFRA-qualifying leave, and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave.  Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 7297.4, subd. (a)(1).  Once notice is provided, the employer is then required to respond to the employee’s leave request as soon as practicable, and in any event no later than 10 calendar days after receiving the request.  Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 7297.4, subd. (a)(6).

Stephen Danz & Associates is comprised of Los Angeles employment lawyers who have successfully handled case after case involving employers who deny employees their rights under the CFRA.  If you believe that you may have been unfairly denied leave, or know someone who has, taking prompt action is critical.  Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.