Family, Medical and Parental Leaves (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
- For the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
- For placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
- To care for an immediate family member (i.e., spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
- To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.
Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.
California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) authorizes eligible employees to take up a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid job-protected leave during a 12-month period. While on leave, employees keep the same employer-paid health benefits they had while working. Eligible employees can take leave for one or more of the following reasons:
- The birth of a child or adoption or foster care placement of a child.
- To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
- When the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition (SHC).
A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that causes or requires:
- Any period of incapacity 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 Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
This law says employers with 5 or more employees must give you up to 12 weeks (4 months) of unpaid disability leave because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related illness. California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) also requires that employers supply you with reasonable accommodation and transfer you to a less hazardous or strenuous job. However, employers can deny any reasonable accommodation request if they can prove it would be an undue burden.
California Parental Leave Policy
The California New Parent Leave Act (S.B. 63) provides eligible employees the opportunity to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. The maximum amount of leave an employee may use under this policy is 12 weeks within a 12-month period.