California employees have federal- and state-level protections for taking time off work to address medical conditions or care for family members. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides qualifying Santa Monica employees with unpaid, job-protected leave. If you are denied this medical leave, despite having good cause, or are retaliated against for taking your medical leave, you need to find a Santa Monica family and medical leave act lawyer.
FMLA leave applies when an employee or their loved ones have emergency medical issues or need to care for a new child in the family. It provides leave for up to 12 weeks. As an employee, you have rights, including this right to medical leave. If you lost your job after taking medical leave, or had your pay or benefits cut, this could be retaliation. An employment attorney can review your circumstances and determine if you have a retaliation claim or if your employer is violating the FMLA by denying you leave.
At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we can help you understand your rights and defend you if your employer is violating those rights. If you have been refused a good-faith FMLA leave request, or have lost your job while taking protected leave, you deserve compensation. We can help you protect your rights while you take the time you need to care for yourself and your family.
If an employee is covered by the FMLA, they can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid and job-protected leave within a 12-month period for one of the following reasons:
A Santa Monica, CA employee can take up to 26 weeks of protected leave when they need to care for a child, spouse, or parent who is a covered military member with an injury or illness.
If an employee is eligible for leave and their request is in good faith, an employer is not allowed to deny the leave. An employer who denies FMLA leave or retaliates against them for taking or requesting leave is violating an employee’s rights and the law.
There are certain requirements that employees have to meet to take protected leave under the FMLA. These include:
An employee should also give their employer notice before taking leave at least 30 days beforehand if the employee knows of it in advance. This is not required when it is an emergency situation. An employer can request the reason for FMLA leave.
If an employee qualifies for FMLA leave, they should be able to take that leave without fear of losing their job or facing retaliation.
Not all employees are covered under the FMLA, and the leave is unpaid. Even when employees have an emergency medical condition and protected leave, they may not be able to take the needed time off due to financial concerns.
The employer must also be covered, which includes having at least 50 employees within a certain distance. New employees are not covered, as they must have worked with the employer for the prior 12 months before taking leave. They must also have worked a minimum of at least 24 hours per week, on average, for the last 12 months. This prevents a lot of employees from taking leave when emergency situations come up.
The state-level protection for family and medical leave is the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Like the FMLA, the CFRA provides job-protected unpaid leave for individuals who need to care for their own health or the health of a family member. It provides up to 12 weeks of leave for employees who qualify. Depending on an employee’s unique situation, they may be able to use the protected leave from both the CFRA and federal leave.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are federal and state laws, respectively. They each provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave if the employee qualifies.
The CFRA does not specify rules for military leave. It also does not include pregnancy as a serious health condition, preventing pregnant employees from taking leave before they give birth. The CFRA does include domestic partners as family members whom an employee can take leave to care for.
The FMLA has protections for pregnant employees, allowing up to 4 months of pregnancy leave. It also has rules unique to military leave.
FMLA leave is typically unpaid. If an employee gets paid while taking FMLA leave, it is likely because they have a specific union contract or employee contract that provides them with paid leave. Employees may also be able to use their own accrued paid sick days, vacation days, or paid time off during FMLA leave, depending on the circumstances of their leave. If none of these options exist for an employee, their FMLA leave will be unpaid.
Although employers should comply with laws that protect employee rights, this is not always what happens. If you are being denied family and medical leave that you qualify for, or your employer has treated you badly or denied you benefits in response to you taking leave, contact our team today. At the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez, we want to protect the rights of Santa Monica employees.