Los Angeles Family and Medical Leave Attorneys
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its state counterpart the California Family Rights Act give eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave per year for health and family reasons. All employers subject to the FMLA/CFRA must grant the requested leave, and it is unlawful for employers to terminate or otherwise discriminate against employees for taking the leave.
While it has been over twenty years since these laws were enacted, many employers continue to violate FMLA/CFRA requirements and the protected leave rights of their employees. Our Los Angeles medical and family leave attorneys strongly believe that employees should be able to take time time off to care for loved ones or because of their own medical needs without suffering retaliation, and provide skillful and effective representation to victims of unlawful conduct.
Eligibility for FMLA and CFRA Leave
The FMLA allows employees to take a total of 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for the following reasons:
- When an employee has a serious health condition
- To care for a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition
- The birth of a child
- Caring for a newly adopted or fostered child
Eligible employees are defined as employees who have been at the job for at least one year and have worked at least 1,250 hours. The FMLA applies to all private-sector employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. While an employer can legally ask for medical certification when the leave is requested, the employer cannot request that you sign a medical release/waiver.
The main distinction between the FMLA and CFRA is that while the federal statute does not recognize registered domestic partners as spouses, the CFRA does. Additionally, California’s new Parental Leave Act expands the right to take parental leave to employees of businesses who have between 20 and 49 employees within a 75 mile radius.
Examples of FMLA/CFRA Violations
- Termination of the employee during the leave
- Termination of the employee after his or her return to work if the termination decision can be connected to taking of the leave
- Significant changes to the terms and conditions of employment after the employee’s return to work, such as a decrease in pay or reassignment to a less desirable location or department
- Denial or interference with the right to take FMLA or CFRA leave
- Termination after the employee complains that his or her FMLA/CFRA rights are being violated
Termination and Discrimination Upon Return to Work
While some employers fire the employee during his or her protected leave, other employers are more subtle and wait until after the employee returns to work before terminating him or her. Even in those circumstances, an employee may still prevail under the FMLA/CFRA if the termination decision can be tied to taking of the leave and it can be convincingly argued that any other reason offered by the employer for the decision (such as poor performance or restructuring) is pretextual, i.e. untrue.
Some other employers do not risk terminating the returning employee at all and instead find other ways to penalize him or her, such as a decrease in pay or reassignment to a less desirable location or department. Again, an employee may be able to prevail if these changes in the terms and conditions of employment can be connected to the FMLA/CFRA leave.
Contact Our Los Angeles FMLA/CFRA Lawyers Now
Our Los Angeles employment attorneys have extensive experience helping employees successfully bring claims for violation of the FMLA and/or CFRA. If you feel that you were terminated or discriminated against for exercising your right to family or medical leave, contact the Los Angeles FMLA attorneys at Broslavsky & Weinman, LLP to discuss your potential case. Call us (310) 575-2550 or email us using the form on this page for a free consultation.