Under federal law, eligible employees in California have a right to take some time off work to deal with medical-related matters such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition or treatment and recovery for their own serious health condition. During this time, their employer should protect their position and give them the same salary when they return.
First, your employer must be covered for you to be eligible for this leave. This means that they are:
• A private company with 50 or more employees
• A public agency, including local, state and federal government agency
• A School or school district
• A Child care center or a Head Start program
In addition, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months. And, In those 12 months, you must have given at least 1250 hours of service. They do not necessarily have to be consecutive months.
Your rights under FMLA
Under employment law, if you are eligible for FMLA leave, you have the right to:
• Take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for a qualifying reason
• Continue receiving health insurance coverage while on leave (if you had coverage before taking leave)
• Return to the same or equivalent job with the same pay and benefits at the end of your leave
• Be free from retaliation for taking FMLA leave
You do not have to take all 12 weeks of FMLA leave at once. You can take it as needed throughout the year, in blocks of time. However, if you need FMLA leave for more than one qualifying reason, you are only entitled to a total of 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period.
In some cases, you may need more than 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period. If this is the case, you may be able to take an additional leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The CFRA is very similar to the FMLA, but it applies to employers with 20 or more employees instead of 50. Like the FMLA, the CFRA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave per year for a qualifying reason. However, unlike the FMLA, the CFRA does not require you to work for your employer for at least 12 months before taking leave.