Before You Take Leave, Be Sure You Are Qualified

If you or a family member are ill, both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allow eligible employees to take up to 12 total workweeks of job-protected leave during a rolling 12-month period. But how do you know if you are eligible?

Both the FMLA and CFRA have three eligibility requirements:

  1. You must have been employed by that particular employer for at least 12 months
  2. You must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the past 12 months
  3. Your employer must have at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the location where you work

While the FMLA and CFRA requirements are largely the same, the Paid Family Leave (PFL) program applies to any employer with at least one employee. Another difference is that for an employee to be eligible for PFL, he or she must have contributed to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program during the base period, typically six to 18 months prior to the claim. Also, whereas FMLA and CFRA applications are processed by the employer, applications for PFL are sent to the California Employment Development Department (EDD). With the exception of leaves taken by new mothers for bonding where a waiting period has already been served during the SDI claim for pregnancy and birth, PFL requires a seven-day waiting period. There is no waiting period for FMLA.

After determining eligibility, the next concern for most people in this area of employment law is whether or not they can be paid while taking a leave. Tomorrow, we will examine some of those compensation issues.

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment lawyers