Who is Eligible for FMLA & CFRA Leave?

In our last article, we took a brief look at what Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Acts are, who is eligible for them, and the three reasons people are eligible for it. As promised, today we will look at those three reasons a little closer.

The Birth of a Child or Adoption or Foster Care Placement of a Child

Eligible employees may take a paid or unpaid leave to bond with an adopted or foster child or to bond with a newborn. FMLA/CFRA leave includes both maternity and paternity leaves, but does not include pregnancy-related or childbirth-related disabilities. If you are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions you may, however, take Pregnancy Disability Leave (“PDL”) for six weeks up to four months. The CFRA allows employees an additional twelve weeks of bonding time. The minimum amount of time that may be taken is 2 weeks, but the California Department of General Services will grant a leave of at least one day, but less than two weeks on any two occasions. Leave for an adopted or foster child and childbirth must conclude within 12 months of the birth or placement.

Immediate Family Member with a Serious Health Condition

You may also take leave if you are an eligible employee and need to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. An “immediate family member” is a husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law, a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal war, or a child of a person standing in the place of the parent who are under 18 years of age. A child who is 18 years of age or older and incapable of caring for themselves due to a mental or physical disability also qualifies. Finally, a biological or adoptive parent, or a person who stood in place of a parent when the employee was a child also applies. Parent-in-laws do not apply

Employee with Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves:

  1. Any period of treatment that includes inpatient care in hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
  2. Any period of more than three consecutive calendar days that involves continuing treatment by a health care provider; or
  3. Continuing treatment by or under the supervision of a health care provider for a chronic or long-term condition that is incurable, is so serious that if left untreated would result in incapacity for more than three consecutive calendar days, or for prenatal care.
  4. Restorative dental or plastic surgery after an accident or injury, or the removal of cancerous growths are serious health conditions if all the conditions are met. Cosmetic surgery that is not medically necessary does not qualify, unless inpatient hospital care is required.

If you want to know if your specific reason falls within one of these categories, contact an employment lawyer. If you are have not read the basic overview of FMLA/CFRA leave, scroll down to the next article.

While this has been more in-depth than the last article and we hope this has provided more information so you can conduct research on your own, the laws are still much more complicated than this. All the same, if you have been terminated while on FMLA/CFRA leave you may have a claim for wrongful termination. If so, contact our office for a free consultation with a leave of absence attorney.

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