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Navigating CFRA and FMLA Leave Laws in California: Your Guide to Compliance and Protection

Posted by Chris Harmon | Oct 02, 2023

As an employment attorney in California, I understand the complexities surrounding employment laws in the state. One area that often leads to legal disputes and employee grievances is the failure to comply with the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In this article, we'll explore the key aspects of these leave laws in California, shedding light on common compliance issues. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of these laws and why seeking legal counsel is crucial to protect your rights and interests as an employer or employee.

Understanding CFRA and FMLA:

  1. Coverage:

    • CFRA: The California Family Rights Act provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for various family and medical reasons.
    • FMLA: The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law that grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for specific family and medical needs.
  2. Eligibility:

    • Both CFRA and FMLA require employees to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as working for a covered employer for at least one year and having worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.
  3. Qualifying Reasons:

    • Covered reasons for leave include the birth or adoption of a child, a serious health condition, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

Common Compliance Issues:

  1. Inaccurate Eligibility Determinations:

    • Employers sometimes mistakenly deny leave to eligible employees due to misunderstanding the eligibility requirements.
  2. Failure to Properly Designate Leave:

    • Employers may not always identify or designate leave as CFRA/FMLA-protected, leading to disputes and potential legal issues.
  3. Retaliation and Interference:

    • Some employers unlawfully retaliate against employees for taking protected leave or interfere with their rights to leave.
  4. Insufficient Documentation:

    • Proper documentation is crucial for compliance. Failing to maintain accurate records can lead to disputes.

The Importance of Legal Counsel:

Seeking the guidance of an experienced employment attorney in California is vital for both employers and employees. An attorney can help in various ways:

  1. Ensure Compliance:

    • Attorneys can help employers establish and maintain compliant leave policies and procedures.
  2. Protect Employee Rights:

    • Employees can benefit from legal representation to ensure their rights are protected throughout the leave process.
  3. Resolve Disputes:

    • In cases of non-compliance, attorneys can assist in resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.

If you have questions or concerns regarding CFRA and FMLA compliance in California, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to provide you with expert guidance and protect your rights. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step toward securing your future.

Understanding and complying with CFRA and FMLA leave laws in California is essential for both employers and employees. Compliance issues can lead to legal disputes that can be time-consuming and costly. Seeking legal counsel early on can help you navigate these complex laws and protect your rights. Don't wait until a problem arises – reach out to us today for expert advice and representation. Your peace of mind is our priority.

About the Author

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Chris Harmon Law is committed to answering your questions about civil litigation issues in California. We offer free consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.