Step-by-Step Guide to Taking FMLA or CFRA Leave in California
If you need to take time off from work due to a serious health condition, the birth or adoption
of a child, or to care for a family member in California, you may be entitled to leave under the
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Both FMLA and
CFRA provide unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees, and they have many
similarities. In this blog post, we’ll outline the step-by-step process for taking FMLA or CFRA
leave in California.
Step 1: Determine if you are eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave.
The first step in taking FMLA or CFRA leave is to determine if you are eligible. To be eligible for
FMLA or CFRA leave, you must meet the following criteria:
You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.
You must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding your leave.
Step 2: Review your employer’s FMLA or CFRA policies.
Once you have determined that you are eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave, the next step is to
review your employer’s policies on FMLA or CFRA leave. Your employer should have written
policies outlining how much leave you are entitled to, how you can request leave, and any
other relevant information. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these policies so you
know what to expect when you request leave.
Step 3: Determine which type of leave you are eligible for.
There are several types of leave available under FMLA and CFRA, including leave for your own
serious health condition, the birth or adoption of a child, and to care for a family member. To
determine which type of leave you are eligible for, you’ll need to consider the specific
circumstances of your case, including the reason for your leave, the length of your leave, and
your employer’s size. Your employer should be able to provide you with more information on
your eligibility for different types of leave.
Step 4: Request leave from your employer.
If you need to take FMLA or CFRA leave, the next step is to request the leave from your
employer. You can do this either orally or in writing, but it’s usually best to put your request in
writing. In your request, be sure to specify the dates you need to take off, the reason for the
leave, and any other relevant information. You should also provide any medical documentation
supporting your request, if applicable.
Step 5: Consider your employer’s response.
After you have made your request for leave, your employer should respond within a reasonable
time. Your employer may approve your request, deny your request, or ask for additional
information. If your employer denies your request, they must provide you with a written
explanation of their decision and the legal basis for it. If your employer asks for additional
information, you should provide the requested information as soon as possible.
Step 6: Seek legal advice.
If your employer denies your request for leave or you have any other questions or concerns
about the process, it’s important to seek legal advice. An experienced employment attorney
can review the facts of your case and advise you on your rights and options under FMLA or
CFRA. They can also help you gather any additional evidence and represent you in legal
proceedings, if necessary.
Step 7: Consider your options for pursuing a claim.
If you believe your employer has unlawfully denied your request for FMLA or CFRA leave, you
may have several options for pursuing a claim. You may be able to file a complaint with the
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (FEHA) or the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), or you may be able to file a lawsuit in court. Your attorney can advise you
on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Taking FMLA or CFRA leave in California can be a complex process, but by following the steps
outlined in this blog post, including determining your eligibility, reviewing your employer’s
policies, and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can protect your rights and ensure that you
receive the leave you are entitled to.