Taking leave of a job temporarily is a major decision. However, in the case of a family emergency, that decision is sometimes already made. Various laws at both the federal and California level could potentially provide protections in these types of situations.
Two of the most important employee leave laws are the Family Medical Leave Act and California’s Paid Family Insurance program. The remainder of this article will include a discussion of these two laws. Unfortunately, employers do not always comply with these regulations. This sometimes results in discrimination or wrongful termination, and there will also be a discussion of that subject.
The FMLA is intended as a protection for workers who have medical emergencies. Common reasons for taking advantage of this protection include the birth of a child, an illness in the family and other, similar situations. According to the Department of Labor, there are a variety of qualifying factors for both the company and the worker before the protections under the FMLA become valid. Basically, qualified workers could take a certain amount of time off and return to their same position or an analogous one.
PFL is a California program that complements the FMLA. For qualified workers, it could be possible to get up to six months of paid leave under the program. As explained by the state of California Employment Development Department, PFL does not provide any type of job protection. Rather, it is intended to protect workers from wage loss while they are taking a protected break under relevant state or federal laws.
As mentioned above, some employers may try to evade their responsibility. Others may not be aware of their obligations under state and federal law. In these cases, it could be necessary to enter into formal negotiations or litigation to protect the worker’s rights.