Q: Both me and my girlfriend are expecting our first child this summer. We both work for the same company in California and each of us plan on submitting family leave requests at the same time to care for our newborn—is our company required to grant us both leave at the same time?
-Frank in Los Angeles
A: Hi, Frank. First and foremost, congratulations! How exciting!
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) laws in California differ slightly than federal laws. The FMLA allows all employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to attend to certain family or medical issues, including the birth of a child. You are protected from losing your job during the leave, as well as losing seniority, tenure or being passed up for a promotion.
The California Family Right Act (CFRA) allows employees to take leave for a childbirth and “purposes of bonding or the placement of the child in adoptive care.” Under the CFRA, employees of the same company are allowed to take leave at the same time. California laws differ from federal laws in that the couple does not have to be married for the child’s father to take leave.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles discrimination attorneys