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Legal Representation for Employees in Southern California

Legal Representation for EmployeesThere are many different life circumstances that may require you to take leave from work. Certain employers must provide you with job-protected leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). You should not be mistreated for taking this leave, nor for asking to take it. If you are concerned about FMLA or CFRA leave, you should talk to the Orange County employment leave lawyers at the Serendib Law Firm.

FMLA Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that covered employers provide eligible employees with unpaid job-protected leave. If the employer is covered and you are eligible, you are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave each year. During that period of leave, your group health benefits should be maintained. You should be able to go back to the same or an equivalent position at the end of the leave.

FMLA leave can be taken under certain circumstances: medical leave because you have a serious health condition, caregiving leave to care for an immediate family member, leave for your son or daughter’s birth and the postpartum period, or leave for placement with you of a child for adoption or foster care. Your employer is covered by the FMLA if it is a private business with at least 50 employees for a minimum of 20 workweeks in the current or prior calendar year. Your employer is also covered if it is a public agency.

Generally, you are an eligible employee if you work for a covered employer, and you worked for 1,250 hours in the 12 months before the leave starts. Additionally, you must work in a location where your employer has a minimum of 50 employees within 75 miles, and you must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, whether consecutive or not. An employment leave attorney in Orange County can advise you on whether you qualify.

Additionally, if you are eligible, you can take a maximum of 26 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period because of “any qualifying exigency” caused by having a family member on active military duty or about to be called to active duty status.

CFRA Leave

California law also provides job-protected leave. It overlaps with the leave provided under the FMLA. However, in 2018, the California Parent Leave Act broadened CFRA coverage to cover employers with at least 20 employees and public agencies when leave is taken to bond with a new child.

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows eligible employees to take, over the course of 12 months, 12 weeks of paid or unpaid job-protected leave. As with federal law, you can keep the health benefits that you had while working. The reasons why you can take leave under CFRA are similar to the reasons why you can take FMLA leave. You can take CFRA leave if you are disabled by a serious health condition, you need to care for an immediate family member who suffers from a serious medical condition, or you need leave for the birth or adoption or foster care placement of a child. Serious medical conditions under CFRA can include injuries, illnesses, or conditions that cause incapacity after inpatient care, an incapacity lasting longer than three calendar days that requires your absence from work, restorative dental or plastic surgery after an accident, or ongoing treatment for a chronic or long-term condition that cannot be cured.

Right to Reinstatement

Our Orange County employment leave attorneys can protect your right to reinstatement. After the leave, your employer must allow you to be reinstated in the same or a comparable position. There are only rare circumstances in which an employer can refuse to reinstate you after FMLA or CFRA leave.

Establishing a CFRA Violation

To establish a violation of CFRA, you will need to prove that you were eligible for CFRA leave, you asked for or took leave for a qualifying reason, you provided reasonable notice to your employer about the need for leave, your employer either refused to grant the leave or refused to reinstate you when the leave ended, you were harmed, and the employer’s conduct substantially caused your harm.

Damages for CFRA violations can include emotional distress, back and front pay, and benefits, and sometimes punitive damages. Damages are more restricted for violations of the FMLA.

Retain a Knowledgeable Employment Attorney

If you were denied FMLA or CFRA leave or subject to adverse treatment for taking or requesting it, you should consult the Serendib Law Firm. We represent people in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at 1-800-LAW-8825 (800-529-8825) or contact us via our online form to talk to an employment leave lawyer in Orange County.

Client Reviews
"Integrity, competency, and compassion! Dimuth Amaratunga has represented me and counseled me in several matters over the last several years, and each time, I have benefited tremendously from his knowledge, his wisdom and his empathy. He is without a doubt an authority in employment law and personal injury. But most importantly, he has compassion and truly focused on getting the best result for his clients. I am a practicing attorney and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his firm!" David J.