Employment leave right is a legal concept wherein, as an employee, you are allowed to earn creditable leaves while working for your employer. These rights grant you the right to file leaves when you get sick or when you need time off to get treatments for your injuries or even to take a vacation.

Who are Covered Employees?

Your employee right to earn and file for leaves is protected among others by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

You should know that not all employees are eligible to file employment leaves.  Under the law, the following employees are covered:

  1. Employees who are employed for at least one (1) year with the same employer;
  2. Employees who were employed for a total of at least 1,250 hours in the immediately preceding year; and
  3. Leaves are only applicable to employers who have at least 50 employees working within 75 miles of the work site.

Are There Any Other Covered Employees Aside from Law?

Yes. The law only provides for the minimum requirements favorable to employees. However, if under the employer’s own act, he allows, agrees or consents to giving more benefits to his employees then the law will not step in to prevent the granting of benefits more favorable to the employees.

Difference Between Paid and Unpaid Leaves

Paid leaves simply mean that you get paid for the time that you are on leave. On the other hand, unpaid leaves means that you are not given your pay while you are on leave but your employer cannot use your taking of unpaid leave against you. Therefore, if you asked for unpaid leave and your employer demotes you, retaliates against you or discriminates against you for filing and claiming your valid leaves, then your employer is guilty of labor law violation.

How Much Leaves Do You Get?

If you are covered by FMLA/CFRA laws, then you have a right to a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave on account of serious illness of a family member, your own serious illness, in taking care of a new born or your newly adopted child.

Aside from the foregoing, the maximum 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave can be extended if you have a mental or physical disability that requires you to extend your leave on account of your disability.

Still, if you are pregnant, you may further extend your leave up to 4 months under California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL).

Seek Legal Help in Filing Your Employment Leaves in California

Knowing that you have a right to claim leaves doesn’t automatically translate to obtaining said benefits. A lot of employers will do anything not to give you those leaves or use them against you.  Therefore, to make sure that you are legally protected from work for pursuing your leaves, seek legal help from Mesriani Law Group who has vast experience in protecting the employment and labor law rights of employees in California.