California Family Rights Act Attorneys in Temecula, California
California has been among the more progressive states in the United States. Long before FDR passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 which instituted the minimum wage and other workplace rules and regulations, the Golden State was among 13 states that had already established a minimum wage.
To this day, California remains at the forefront of progressive employment laws. In 1991, California enacted a family and medical leave law. Two years later, when the federal government unveiled its Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), California amended its earlier family leave law to mirror the FMLA.
Since then, California has continued tweaking and upgrading the benefits available under its FMLA clone, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Unfortunately, not every employer in the state understands or properly observes the CFRA. Some will delay or deny benefits, and others may even try to retaliate against those who take advantage of the law’s provisions.
Both laws allow qualifying employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave to care for themselves or their family members while recovering from a serious illness. Leave is also available for the birth or adoption of a child, and for those serving in the military or being called to active duty who face a “military exigency.”
If you or a loved one has been denied your rights, in whole or in part, under the CFRA, or are being retaliated against for taking CFTA leave in or around Temecula, California, contact the Law Offices of Charles P. Boylston immediately. We are dedicated to helping those trying to exercise their employee rights and are meeting resistance at work.
The Law Offices of Charles P. Boylston also proudly serve clients throughout Southern California, including San Diego, Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.
Understanding Your Rights Under the CFRA
Many of the provisions of the CFRA are almost carbon copies of the FMLA, but there are some major differences. Whereas the FMLA covers only employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius, the CFRA -- due to a 2021 revision -- covers all California businesses with five or more employees.
When it comes to an employee’s qualifications for CFRA leave, however, the standards are the same as the FMLA. You must have worked for your employer for 12 months, and within those 12 months, you must’ve worked at least 1,250 hours.
When it comes to qualifying for leave to care for a seriously ill family member, the CFRA is more expansive. Both laws allow leave for one’s spouse even in a same-sex marriage, for one’s minor or dependent children, and for a parent. The CFRA expands this list to include a registered domestic partner, a child of any age, a child of a domestic partner, a parent-in-law, a sibling, and a grandparent or grandchild.
The FMLA also includes leave to care for yourself and your serious health condition, as does the CFRA, but the FMLA recognizes a serious health condition due to pregnancy while the CFRA does not. (This is covered by California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave law.)
Both the FMLA and CFRA cover leave for a “military exigency” for a qualifying family member on active duty or being deployed or called up. The CFRA includes domestic partners in the list of qualifying family members, along with a spouse, a child of any age, and a parent. The FMLA allows for 26 weeks of leave to care for a seriously ill or injured family member who is on active duty or a veteran, while the CFRA does not.
Certifying a Serious Illness
Under the FMLA, an employer can ask the FMLA leave applicant to submit a physician’s diagnosis of the serious illness necessitating the leave. The CFRA does not allow an employer to request a diagnosis, though the employee can submit one voluntarily. The CFRA merely requires that the employee submit:
The date on which the serious illness commenced
The probable duration of the condition
A statement to the effect that, due to the serious health condition, the employee will be unable to perform the duties of his or her position.
Both the FMLA and CFRA allow employers to request second and third medical certifications at their own expense. Under the FMLA, six months must pass before a medical certification can be requested. Under the CFRA, the original grant of leave must have expired.
The justification for requesting a certification also differs. The FMLA requires that the employer have a “reason to doubt” the health condition, whereas the CFRA requires a “good faith, objective reason.”
Both laws require that employers guarantee that those who take leave be returned to their original positions – or a similar one – with the same pay and benefits. The one exception is that the FMLA allows the employer to exclude “key employees.”
California Family Rights Act Attorneys in Temecula, CA
The CFRA is clear on the rights of employees and employers, with the advantage mostly going to the employee. This does not mean that employers will never try to bend the rules or choose not to live up to their obligations. If you’re requesting CFRA leave in Temecula, California, or in Southern California and meeting resistance from your employer, contact us at the Law Offices of Charles P. Boylston immediately. We will listen to your story and develop a plan to get you the rights you deserve.