Your work is important to you, but so is your family. We can’t plan what life throws at us—and we especially can’t plan for needing to take significant time off from work. If you’ve attempted to take a protected leave of absence and suffered an adverse employment action as a result, the award-winning employment lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm are here to protect your legal rights. Time may be limited to file your claim, so contact our skilled attorneys NOW at (800) 522-7274 or by filling out our online contact form.
Leave of Absence Requirements and Regulations
There are both federal and state laws in existence that allow certain employees the necessary time off from work to attend to family matters or serious medical concerns without risking job loss or suffering from some other adverse employment action. This includes both the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), along with disability, pregnancy, and other leave statutes.
In order to be eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave, employees must:
- Be full-time or part-time employees
- Have worked for their employer for more than 12 months on a full-time or part-time basis
- Have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period prior to the initial leave date
- Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
In addition to FMLA and CFRA leave, employees are entitled to many other leaves here in California as well. Some examples include:
- Medical leave to care for yourself or a family member
- Pregnancy disability leave
- Maternity/paternity leave
- Disability leave
- Military leave
- Leave for jury duty
- Workers compensation leave
Although employees are welcome to use vacation, sick, and other Paid Time Off (PTO) during their leave, most leaves are typically unpaid. The majority of eligible workers are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave. However, due to complex and overlapping regulations, there can be a wide range of leave time that you may be allowed. If you took a protected leave of absence and your employer fired you or took an adverse employment action against you as a result, immediately contact the employment attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm to assess your claim and discover the remedies available.
Example Leave Act Violations
Once your employer grants you a leave of absence, they are required to provide you with either the same or a similar work position upon your return from leave. Failure to do so is just one example leave act violations. Additional violations include the following:
- Denying a valid leave request
- Terminating or demoting an employee who takes leave
- Changing an employee’s role following their return to work
- Harassing an employee for taking a protected leave
- Retaliating against an employee for taking leave
- Failing to continue paying for the health insurance benefits of an employee on leave
Employees who are victimized by such adverse employment actions should always start by speaking with their boss and human resources department. Sometimes a quick conversation is all that is required to correct such workplace grievances. If that fails, it’s time to reach out to the legal professionals at Wilshire Law Firm—we’ll fight to protect your rights.
Can You Be Fired While On Leave?
Employers in the state of California are barred from interfering with or retaliating against employees who assert their legal rights under the FMLA, CFRA, and related statutes. In the majority of cases, this includes not being able to fire an employee who has taken a valid leave of absence under one of those statutes. Nevertheless, there are certain exceptions to this rule, such as:
- Employees who take an invalid leave
- Employees who are subject to company-wide layoffs
- Key Employees (among the highest paid 10% of all employees of the employer) may be denied job restoration if their return creates an undue level of hardship or injury to the employer
One important aspect to the evaluation of an employee’s leave of absence is, in the case of medical leaves, determining whether the medical condition is a “serious health condition” that warrants protection. Generally speaking, medical conditions that require multiple doctor visits in a short period of time, last more than three days, and prevent the employee from working are likely to qualify as serious conditions.
Taking Action to Get Justice
If you suspect that your employer has violated your legal rights, and your company’s internal procedures have failed to correct the situation, then NOW IS THE TIME to reach out to the experienced lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. We will analyze and discuss your claim with you while identifying the legal remedies that may be available in your case. With hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for our clients since 2007, the award-winning employment attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are here to help you get the justice you deserve.