When you or a loved one experiences a serious health condition that requires you to take time off from work, the stress from worrying about keeping your job may add to an already difficult situation. The law recognizes that an employee's job should not be jeopardized just because he or she must take a leave of absence in order to attend to these responsibilities.
Both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provide job-protected leave for employees who are absent for health-related reasons. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a year. During an employee's protected leave, an employer must maintain the employee's existing level of coverage under a group health plan. At the end of protected leave, an employer must take an employee back into the same or an equivalent job.
One of the most common difficulties relates to eligibility. As of January 1, 2021, to be eligible for leave under CFRA, employees must meet certain requirements:
- The employee must be employed by the employer for at least 12 months before the beginning of the leave.
- The employee must wait 12 months from the time the first FMLA or CFRA leave is taken before taking another leave.
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before a leave.
- The employer must employ at least 5 employees.
Figuring out whether the law protects you can be confusing. The attorneys at The Sampath Law Firm are highly knowledgeable in this area of law and can help you understand what your rights are. Contact our office for guidance or if you believe you have a potential case.