FMLA Eligibility

Do you have questions about the Family and Medical Leave Act? Watch this video to learn about FMLA eligibility for employees in California.

Question:

Which employees are entitled to FMLA rights in California?

Answer:

Here at the firm, we get a good number of calls regarding employees that have had to take leave away from their employer and whether or not they’re entitled to take medical leave under the FMLA. We spend a good amount of time identifying how big the employer is and how many hours the employee worked in the last year. In order to qualify for leave under the FMLA and California’s CFRA, the California Family Rights Act, you have to work for an employer that has more than 50 employees in a 75 mile radius, you have to have worked for more than a year, and you have to have worked more than 1250 hours over the past year. If you worked for the employer for more than a year and you worked for more than 1250 hours over the past year, and they have more than 50 employees in a 75 mile radius, then you’re arguably entitled to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act.

Those are all pretty fact-specific questions. Are there 50 employees in a 75 mile radius? Sometimes you’ve worked for two employers; you worked for a temp agency for nine months, and then you got hired on and you’ve worked for your current employer for ten months, but you’ve reported to the same location. Those are fact-intensive questions as to whether or not those times and those hours count towards your qualifying for FMLA or CFRA.

Regardless of whether or not you qualify for leave under CFRA or FMLA, it’s also important to note that there’s other leaves that are available to you. For example, the Fair Employment and Housing Act requires an employer to provide leave for a medical condition if it’s not an undue burden. FEHA doesn’t require the employee to work for more than a year. FEHA applies from day one that you got there. The Fair Employment Housing Act doesn’t require that you work a certain number of hours or that they have 50 employees in a 75 mile radius.

Sometimes, FMLA Eligibilitywith regards as to whether or not an employee is entitled to leave after 12 weeks have expired, the employer says that you’ve burned through your CFRA and that you’ve burned through your FMLA time. The employer says, “You either have to come back now, or I’ll terminate you.” What employers don’t understand is, in addition to the CFRA leave and the FMLA leave, employees are entitled to additional leave under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Even though you’ve done your 12 weeks of leave seeking medical care, you may need some additional time to finish up your treatment or you need additional leave because you have treatment every Tuesday or every Friday. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, you very well could still be entitled to leave beyond the 12 weeks.

If you or a family member have a condition that requires you to be away from work, whether it’s for up to 12 weeks or whether it’s more than 12 weeks, understand that under California law you have protection under various statutes. If I can answer any of those questions, please feel free to give me a call here at the office. Thanks.


Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions about FMLA Eligibility? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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