In an absolutely perfect world, every employee would receive the benefits and protections afforded under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Sadly, this is not the case. Many employees working at California workplaces will never have the right to take unpaid leave under the FMLA. That's because they don't work at employers with 50 or more employees located at workplaces within a 75-mile radius, or they don't work as a government employee or school employee. The FMLA only protects workers in these positions.
Those workers who do have FMLA protection can take up to 12 unpaid weeks off per year in the event of:
- The birth of a new baby.
- The adoption of a baby
- The addition of a foster child into the home.
- A serious family illness.
- A serious personal illness.
If you are facing any of the above scenarios and you qualify for job protection under the FMLA, then you have the legal right to take unpaid time away from your job without fear of losing your position.
All this being said, some employers in California may balk at your federal rights and deny you the ability to take time off for one of the above important reasons. In extreme cases, an employer could even terminate your employment for taking leave. If this happens to you, it's important that you act swiftly and appropriately to protect your job and your employment rights. Our law office is available to talk with you about your situation in the event that you have been retaliated against or denied your rights in relation to the FMLA.