The state of California grants its workers a great deal of rights, some of which are duplicated by or in conflict with existing federal laws. Two Acts that commonly are invoked by employees seeking leaves of absence from work are the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Provisions of both mandate that covered workers at qualified business must be allowed time off work due to illness, either their own or a family member’s, as well as after the adoption or birth of a child.
While that seems fairly basic, it’s surprising how many companies run afoul of state and federal laws regarding employee leave requests. When improperly denied, the employees can appeal their human resources manager’s denials. The companies face legal liabilities and can be fined as a result.
Another way a company can run into trouble with either the CFRA or the FMLA is by retaliating against their employee who exercised his or her legal rights to take a protected leave of absence. Still other employees could face illegal retribution from employers for testifying or providing other information about alleged violations of these leaves of absence laws.
Because these laws can be deliberately misinterpreted to deny workers their legitimate leaves of absence, it may be necessary to take your case to the next level and file litigation against the company that denied you your covered leave.
This is generally a type of law best left to the legal professionals because the similarities of the laws can be confusing to a person unfamiliar with litigating these type of workplace leave violations in court.
Source: CalChamber, “FMLA and CFRA: Family and Medical Leave,” accessed Sep. 01, 2017