According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), eligible employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for any one of the following reasons:
- for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee
- for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
- to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition
- to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition
FMLA and CFRA can also cover maternity and paternity leaves, but does not cover pregnancy-related disabilities. Employees disabled because of pregnancy are entitled to take Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) for a period of four weeks up to six months. PDL does count against your 12-workweek entitlement. As we mentioned before, FMLA and CFRA can be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis.
Paid Family Leave (PFL), however, generally cannot be taken on an intermittent basis of less than seven days because of the waiting period. PFL provides up to six weeks of leave for many of the same reasons, but it cannot be taken for the employee’s own condition. In such cases, the State Disability Insurance (SDI) is available.
You should give notice to your employer as soon as you anticipate taking leave. You should also provide a doctor’s certificate detailing the date of commencement of the illness as well the estimated duration of the illness. If your leave leave is due to your own illness, your doctor should certify that you would be unable to perform your job. However, if the leave is for the care of a family member, then the doctor should certify the nature of the illness as well as the fact that he or she requires the help of a family member.
If your employer denies you your legal right to take leave or fires you in retaliation, you should contact a Los Angeles employment attorney to possibly seek compensation for any lost income or emotional distress. Concerns about job security prevent many people from even looking into how to take a leave, but tomorrow we will discuss this area of employment law protects your job while taking leave.
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment lawyers