Family And Medical Leave
The Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP, based in Sherman Oaks and representing clients throughout the Los Angeles area, devotes a substantial portion of its legal practice to assisting victims of employee rights violations. Here, we provide some basic information about eligibility under California and federal laws that protect employees in the workplace.
For a free consultation with an attorney about your legal options in case of injury, illness, discrimination, harassment or other improper treatment, please call us at 818-981-0901.
The Family And Medical Leave Act
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees can take reasonable unpaid leave for family and medical reasons, including for childcare needs, medical emergencies and other reasons. Under the FMLA, employers with more than 50 employees must give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child or parent. The act also requires that group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer for a total of 12 months, although not necessarily consecutively, and for at least 1,250 hours within the previous 12 months. Also, the worker must be employed by a business with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of his or her worksite or by a public agency.
California Family Rights Act
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is our state law equivalent to the FMLA. Like the FMLA, the CFRA provides eligible employees with a medical leave of absence for up to three months, plus a guarantee of reinstatement to the same or a comparable job upon returning to work. The CFRA also works to reinforce FMLA protections. For example, if an employer retaliates or takes an adverse employment action because an employee exercised his or her right to FMLA leave, it is a violation of the CFRA.
The Fair Employment And Housing Act
Federal laws addressing discrimination in the workplace are primarily found under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also covers discrimination in the workplace, but generally provides greater protection for employees than that provided by Title VII. For example, in addition to prohibiting the types of discrimination described in Title VII, the FEHA prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status. Furthermore, Title VII only applies to employers that employ 15 or more employees, while the FEHA usually applies to employers with just five or more employees.
Please see our Discrimination page for a complete list of the classes protected by the FEHA.