When you or a family member is seriously ill, you need time off for care and recovery. California recognizes this fact, which is why California has some of the most generous and supportive family and medical leave laws in the country. You need to know your rights to leave, so your employer can’t infringe on your ability to take care of your loved ones.
Your Federal FMLA Rights
Federal law provides up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year for employees to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill parent, child, or spouse, or recover from a serious illness. This leave may not be universal, however. Only employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past year and who have been employees for over twelve months at companies with at least 50 employees automatically qualify. The California Family Rights Act has expanded the protections of this law to include unpaid time off for caring for domestic partners and the children of domestic partners or same-sex spouses as well.
California Paid Family Leave
California offers six weeks of paid family leave under its temporary disability insurance program. You are entitled to 55% of your normal weekly wages while taking time off to care for a seriously ill family member, recover from your own illness, or bond with a new child. Anyone can qualify for paid leave under this program, regardless of your employer and length of employment. The California Paid Family Leave Act also expands family medical leave to allow employees to care for grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, and siblings.
How An Employment Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights to Family And Medical Leave
Of course, sometimes simply knowing your rights to family and medical leave are not enough. In certain cases, you may need the help of a California employment attorney to take advantage of your right to such time off. If your employer is not giving you leave for qualifying reasons or has fired you, demoted you, or otherwise penalized you at work for taking covered leave, you may be due damages.
At Wakeford Gelini, we know that family comes first. We are dedicated to helping our clients get the family and medical leave they need and deserve by law. Come talk to us today to find out more about how we may be able to help protect your job while ensuring you can take family medical leave when you really need it.