It’s an unfortunate situation when an employer acts in a discriminate way towards an employee because he/she took advantage of their rights in taking a leave of absence. Employers don’t always agree with the laws protecting employee leave, but employees do have rights under several federal or state laws. Employees are protected under leave laws from things like discrimination, wrongful termination, pay decrease, rejection for a job promotion and more. This page is an overview of the leave laws that protect qualified employees in California.
Please note that reading this page, or any of the below pages, is not a substitute for speaking with an experienced termination lawyer. Every person’s case is different and there is no “one size fits all” approach to employment law.
Leave of Absence Cases that We Handle
Work is an important part of a person’s life; however, family is just as important or even more so. We can’t always predict when a serious illness will hit, either ourselves or a family member, and you’ll need to take time off of work to take care of the illness. There are certain disabilities and serious illnesses that are covered by the Family Medical and Leave Act. In order for an employer to be covered by FMLA, there are specific requirements that will need to be met; employees also have to meet specific qualifications as well. To learn more about this leave law, visit our FMLA California webpage.
It’s surprising that we still have such an issue with pregnancy in the workplace. There are laws in place that give women rights to take maternity leave if they work for a covered employer. These rights ensure that their job is protected and that they won’t have to worry about getting back to work immediately after they have a new child, whether by birth, adoption or foster care. Our Maternity Leave California webpage outlines the rights and responsibilities that a pregnant employee should know about when considering taking a maternity leave. Visit the Maternity Leave page to learn more about the laws that govern pregnant employees’ rights to take leave.
Pregnancy Disability Leave
Similar to maternity leave, this leave law is written for pregnant employees. California Family Rights Act does not cover disabilities that are related to pregnancies, so it’s important to know about this law if you need to take leave, due to a pregnancy-related disability. This could include being disabled by extreme morning sickness or fatigue. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law also protects the employee from losing her job or from being discriminated against for taking a pregnancy disability leave. To learn more about PDL, read this webpage about pregnancy disability leave.
A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, not just limiting tasks at work. Disability leave is protected by FMLA and CFRA and available to eligible employees who are working for covered employers that meet the qualifications. Several reasons to be eligible for disability leave that are covered by law are: caring for a seriously ill parent, child, spouse, or registered partner, as well as oneself. Disability leave can be paid or unpaid, depending on which law you are taking the leave under. California does have a State Disability Program that pays an eligible employee while he/she is on leave. To learn more, visit out disability leave page.
The California Family Rights Act is a state law, similar to the Family Medical and Leave Act but specific to California residents. An eligible employee is job-protected to take time off due to covered reasons related to his/her own medical issues or an immediate family member’s illnesses. A serious medical condition includes a wide range of things that incapacitate an individual and would require time off of work. To learn if you are eligible and or if your reason is covered by CFRA, visit out CFRA California Family Rights Act page.
When talking about discrimination here, we are referring to the discrimination that comes when an employer treats an employee wrong because he/she took a leave that was legally covered by federal or state law. Employers like to have reliable workers, but they are also obligated to follow laws that make the work environment better for all employees. This includes not firing employees, denying a promotion, decreasing pay, or taking away benefits because the employee has requested, taken, or supports any type of covered leave. To learn more about this subject, visit our Discrimination in Leave of Absence Cases page
Military leave has special laws that govern it because it includes service members who serve the country. As we know, when active military duty calls, it’s nothing like civilian life. These laws protect veterans from getting terminated from his/her civilian jobs, while on active military duty. These veterans have a right to return to their jobs, not be discriminated against, or being fired for being an active military service man or woman. To learn more about rights for military members or for military spouses, visit our webpage for Military Leave of Absence from a Civilian Job.
Paternity leave for fathers is an area of law that is growing in the eye of the public. Fathers often want to spend time with their newborn babies just as mothers do. What does the law say about this? You can read all the details on our paternity leave page.
Other Leave Cases that We Can Handle
The list above is not conclusive of every case that we have taken or can handle. If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against or have had something wrong done to you at work and truly believe that it’s related to a leave of absence, you should contact our attorney; we are experienced in handling leave law cases. You have rights, it is important to know what laws may give you the protections you seek when requesting leave from your employer.