Leave of Absence
California law provides several different protections for employees who require a leave of absence. The following are the types of leaves of absence that are provided by California Law. Some of the leaves depend on the employees employment status and/or the size of the employer.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE AS AN ACCOMMODATION FOR A DISABILITY (FEHA)
Pursuant to California Government Code section 12940, et seq., Employers with 5 or more employees have an affirmative duty to engage in the interactive process with disabled employees and to provide all disabled employees, regardless of the amount of time the employee has worked for the employer, a reasonable accommodation, including unpaid time off due to the physical disability, mental disability or medical condition or to a woman who is disabled because of a pregnancy (or due to a pregnancy related physical and mental condition).
PREGNANCY DISABILITY LEAVE (PDL)
Employers with 5 or more employees must provide all employees, regardless of the amount of time worked for the employee, with up to four months ( four months equals 17⅓ weeks) of unpaid job protected time off, which may be taken before or after birth during any period of time the woman is physically or mentally disabled by pregnancy, or due to childbirth or due to a pregnancy related medical condition that prevents the employee from performing the essential duties of her job, or if her job would cause undue risk to her or her pregnancy’s successful completion.
Examples of pregnancy disability include:
- Severe morning sickness.
- Time off for prenatal or postnatal care.
- Doctored ordered bed rest.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension.
- Post-partum depression.
- Lactation conditions such as mastitis.
- Loss or end of pregnancy.
- Recovery from loss or end of pregnancy. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11035(f)).
FEDERAL FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)/ CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT(CFRA)
Employers with 50 or more employees with in a 75-mile radius must provide employees who have (a) worked for the employer for 12 months; and (b) worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the need for the leave, with up to 12 weeks (during a 12-month period) of unpaid job protected leave due to:
- The birth and care of a newborn child or placement of an adopted or foster child with an employee.
- To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) with a serious health condition.
- The employee’s own serious health condition (including incapacity due to pregnancy).
What is a Serious Health Condition: A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that causes or requires:
- Any period of incapacity (unable to work) or treatment in connection with, or after inpatient care;
- Any period of incapacity requiring absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities, of more than 3 consecutive calendar days;
- Ongoing treatment by or under the supervision of a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable;
- Restorative dental or plastic surgery after an accident or injury
CALIFORNIA’S NEW PARENT LEAVE ACT (NPLA)
Employers with 20-49 employees within in a 75-mile radius must provide employees who have (a) worked for the employer for 12 months and (b) worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months 12 weeks of unpaid job protected time off to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.
CALIFORNIA PAID FAMILY LEAVE (PFL)
If the employee is entitled to State Disability Insurance (SDI), both parents are entitled to 6 weeks of unprotected Paid Family Leave benefits or temporary disability insurance, which is approximately 55% of the employee’s earnings, to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, parent-in-law, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child.
CALIFORNIA SHORT-TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE (SDI)
If an employee has SDI withheld from his or her paycheck, the employee may be eligible to Disability Insurance (DI) payments. Pregnant women are eligible for payment for up to 4 weeks before and 8 weeks after childbirth.
CALIFORNIA PAID SICK LEAVE LAW (PAID TIME OFF) (HEALTHY WORKPLACES, HEALTHY FAMILIES ACT OF 2014- LABOR CODE SECTION 245-249)
All employees who work in California for at least 30 days in a year are eligible to mandatory paid sick leave for any diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of, or preventive care of for themselves or for the employee’s family member, which is defined as spouse, domestic partner, parent (biological, adoptive, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian), child (biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis), parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.
Paid sick leave may also be used for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
KIN CARE LAW (Labor Code § 233)
Kin Care leave and Paid Sick Leave (PTO) are very similar. Kin Care provides that employees are able to use up an amount not less than what he or she accrues in six months for the same reasons set forth under Paid Sick Leave Law.
DLSE Opinion. Letter No.
Labor Code § 233: Sick leave to attend to family
CHILD-RELATED ACTIVITIES LEAVE LAW
Labor Code Section 230.8
Employers with 25 or more employees must provide 8 hours per month or 40 hours of unpaid leave each year for “child related activities” to parents, stepparents, foster parents, grandparents or guardians with children attending a licensed day care facility, kindergarten or grades 1 to 12.
Child related activities include the following reasons:
- To enroll the child.
- To deal with a school emergency, such as a natural disaster.
- To deal with a childcare provider.
- For disciplinary problems.
Under Labor Code section 230.7, the parent or guardian of any size employer is also entitled to time off if the parent or guardian has provided reasonable notice to the employer that the school has requested the parent or guardian to appear at school.
Labor Code §230(a)
Labor Code Section 230.8
Employers must provide employees time off to serve on a jury.
WITNESS DUTY LEAVE LAW
Labor Code §230(b)
An employer must provide an employee who is a victim of a crime with time off to appear in court or to be a witness in any proceeding.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SEXUAL ASSAULT, OR STALKING VICTIM LEAVE
Labor Code section 230 (c)
An employer must provide an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking time off from work to allow the employee to obtain relief, such as going to see his or her attorney, to go to court or to the police. Under Labor Code section 230.1, an employer with more than 25 employees shall provide a victim employee with additional time off.
CRIME VICTIM LEAVE
Labor Code §230.2
All employers must provide an employee who is a victim of a violent felony or serious felony or whose immediate family member (spouse, child, stepchild, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, mother, stepmother, father, or stepfather) is a victim of a violent felony or serious felony, time off in order to attend judicial proceedings related to that crime.
FIREFIGHTER LEAVE LAW
Labor Code §230.3
Employers must provide employees time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve peace officer, or emergency rescue personnel. If the employer has more than 50 employees, the employee is entitled to a 14 days of protected leave.
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES LEAVE LAWYER
If you need additional information regarding your leave of absence rights such as FMLA or you have been the victim of retaliation, discrimination or termination because you have requested to take a leave of absence in the workplace, it is imperative that you speak to a qualified Los Angeles employment attorney who successfully represented the rights of employees. Please contact Los Angeles Family Leave Attorney Morris Nazarian by calling (310) 284-7333 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation or please fill out the Employment Law Case Evaluation Form and we will call or email you as soon as possible.