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Employment Leave Laws

Posted March 2016 by S. Ward Heinrichs
Employment Leave Laws

Mandatory employment leave laws are nothing new. However, recently, legislatures have passed new leave laws or expanded old ones. It’s a trend that will likely continue. Below is a list of mandatory employment leave laws under both California and Federal statutes. Many states have leave requirements that are similar to the ones in California.

1. California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
2. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDLL)
3. Paid Family Leave (PFL)
4. Sick Leave
5. Kin Care
6. Juror Duty/Court Attendance
7. Crime Victim Leave
8. Organ/Bone Marrow Donor
9. Civil Service/Emergency Responder
10. Voting
11. Civil Air Patrol
12. Military Reserve Duty
13. National Guard and Active Duty Military
14. Military Spouse Leave
15. School Visitation of Parent/Guardian
16. Workers’ Compensation
17. Disability Reasonable Accommodation
18. Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking
19. Literacy Assistance

1. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
2. Pregnancy Discrimination Act
3. USERRA (Military return to work)
Most leave laws are state laws. Some important and/or new ones in California are: CFRA/FMLA, Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), Paid Family Leave (PFL), Sick Leave, Kin Care, Disability Reasonable Accommodation, and Domestic Violence.

The CFRA is very similar to the federal FMLA. For the most part, it gives employees more rights than FMLA, but not all employees have access to either. The employer must employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles. The employee must be employed at least one year and have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the year. Assuming eligibility, then an employee may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious health condition, serious health condition of a family member, birth and bonding of/with a child, placement of a foster child.

The employer must employee at least 5 employees. Pregnant employees may take 4 months of unpaid leave for disabilities caused by pregnancy, child birth, or related medical conditions. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to give the same leave rights that it gives to other disabled employees to employees who are disabled due to pregnancy, child birth, or related medical conditions.

Employees who pay into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) fund may receive up to 6 weeks of pay for bonding with a baby within one year of birth or for caring for a family member with a serious health condition. It does not grant time off or protect reinstatement rights. SDI also pays for time off during pregnancy and after child birth, in addition to PFL payments.

All employers, with very few exceptions, must give employees at least three days of paid sick leave. The employee must have worked at least thirty days for the employer and can only take this leave after completing 90 days of employment. Kin Care is tied to the sick leave law. An eligible employee may take up to half of any accrued sick leave to care for an ill family member.

In California, an employer who has 5 employees, must engage in an interactive process with disabled employees who need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of their jobs. An employer must grant a reasonable accommodation. Reasonableness includes analyzing the burden to the employer. Depending upon the circumstances, unpaid leave may be a reasonable accommodation. The length of reasonable leave also depends on the circumstances.

Employers who have at least 25 employees must give unpaid leave to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to get medical, psychological, and crisis treatment and to make court appearances.

S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq.
Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
4565 Ruffner Street, Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 408-7543 (fax)

Employment Law Office of WARD HEINRICHS

4565 Ruffner St. Suite 207 San Diego 92111


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