Employee Leave Attorneys in Temecula, California
As an employer, there is a lot of responsibility when it comes to managing employee leave. It is important that you understand federal and state laws so that you can ensure compliance. Reach out to an attorney who focuses on employment law to help provide clarity and guidance when handling employees’ requests for leave. An employment law attorney can help employers ensure they are compliant with all the relevant employee leave laws that apply to their businesses.
Our employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Charles P. Boylston serve employers in Temecula, California, and other parts of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Riverside Counties.
Employee Leave Under the FMLA
Not all employers are subject to the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Generally speaking, employers must have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of each other in order to be considered a “covered employer” under the FMLA. In addition, any public agency—including local governments, schools, and other educational institutions—is considered a covered employer regardless of its size.
In order for employees to be eligible for FMLA benefits, they must meet certain criteria. Typically, an employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to their request for leave and worked at least 12 months with their employer prior to requesting leave in order to be eligible for FMLA benefits. This means that part-time workers may not always qualify since they often do not work enough hours in a given year to meet this requirement.
The amount of unpaid leave provided under the FMLA varies based on several factors such as when an employee’s need arises and how much time they can take off without putting undue strain on their employer’s operations. Generally speaking, most employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year if they meet certain eligibility requirements mentioned above.
The types of situations which qualify as an “eligible reason” for taking FMLA leave vary depending upon state law. However, federal law covers several primary reasons which qualify an employee for taking up to 12 weeks off from work including serious health conditions, birth or adoption/foster care placement, or care for an immediate family member with a serious condition.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that protects the rights of veterans, reservists, and other members of uniformed services. It was passed in 1994 to ensure that those who serve in the military are not discriminated against when it comes to employment opportunities.
USERRA protects veterans and members of uniformed services from discrimination when it comes to hiring, promotion, training, benefits, or any other terms and conditions of employment. Employers must also make reasonable efforts to reemploy applicants who have been called up for military service or who have recently returned from active duty. This includes providing employees with any necessary training or retraining they need to perform their job duties effectively.
Additionally, USERRA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law. This includes making disparaging comments about an employee’s service or taking any action that would discourage an employee from exercising their rights under USERRA (i.e., filing a complaint).
Employers must abide by certain obligations as outlined in USERRA. These include:
Providing employees with notice of their rights under USERRA prior to leaving for active duty;
Maintaining all employees’ health insurance coverage while on active duty;
Refraining from discriminating against applicants based on their military status; and
Making reasonable efforts to reemploy returning veterans according to their pre-service rank/level within a reasonable amount of time after they return home.
Understanding and abiding by USERRA is essential for employers who want to remain compliant with federal law while still protecting the rights of their veteran and reservist employees.
California Leave Laws
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides important protections for employees in the state of California. CFRA leave has specific requirements that employers must follow to ensure their employees have the right to take time off for certain purposes.
Holiday leave. Employers are not required by law to give employees paid time off for holidays, but they can choose to do so if they wish. The only exception applies when providing time off for religious accommodations.
Sick leave. Employees may take unpaid sick leave under the CFRA for any reason related to their own health or the health of a family member. This includes physical or mental illness, injury, medical diagnosis, or preventive care, as well as care for a newborn child or placement of a foster care child with the employee’s family.
Vacation leave. Vacation leave is unpaid under the CFRA unless an employer chooses to provide paid vacation time off. All vacation requests should be handled in accordance with applicable federal and state laws regarding vacation pay and other rights associated with taking time off from work.
Voting leave. Employees have the right to take unpaid voting leave if they need time away from work in order to vote in an election held during regular business hours. Employers must adhere to applicable state and federal laws regarding voting rights when granting this type of leave request.
Jury duty leave. Employees have the right under CFRA law to take unpaid jury duty leave if they receive a summons requiring them to serve jury duty during regular business hours. Again, employers must abide by applicable state and federal laws when granting this type of request.
Bereavement leave. Under CFRA law, employees have the right to take up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave due to death or serious illness in their family (defined as spouse/registered domestic partner/parent/child). Employers should also note that additional bereavement leave may be granted at their discretion depending on individual circumstances.
The CFRA protections apply to employers with five or more employers. The state law has the same eligibility requirements as its federal counterpart: the employee must have worked for their employer for a year (12 months) and a minimum of 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the request.
Employee Leave Attorneys in Temecula, California
Understanding employee leave laws that apply to your business is essential for staying compliant and avoiding costly litigation down the road. Our employee leave attorneys in Temecula, California, can help guide you through these complex regulations while ensuring that your business does not violate any laws related to employee leave or other protections. Reach out to the Law Offices of Charles P. Boylston and tell us about your situation.