California workers laid off during the pandemic just got a little boost of hope. On April 16, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 93 into law, which went into effect immediately. The law requires employers to give rehire preference to qualified workers laid off during the pandemic.
This is good news for employees laid off in industries hit hard by the pandemic: hospitality, airports, private clubs, restaurants and hotels.
Keep reading this article to learn a little about this new California law. If you were laid off during the pandemic, or you are experiencing another type of employment issue such as harassment or retaliation, call our office to schedule a consultation.
“To offer its laid-off employees specified information about job positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified, and to offer positions to those laid-off employees based on a preference system, in accordance with specified timelines and procedures.”
Senate Bill 93
For purposes of this law a “laid off employee” is anyone who was employed for six months or more in the 12 months before January 1 2020, and whose separation was related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Does the Law Apply to You?
Simply put, if you were terminated because of the pandemic, you could be legally entitled to your old position. Types of layoffs covered by this statute include:
An order to close from a government agency
A lack of business
Other non-disciplinary reasons
What if Multiple Laid Off Employees Qualify for a Single Position?
If two laid off employees are entitled to the same position, the employer shall offer the position to the laid-off employee with the greatest length of service.
The law, as currently written, will remain in effect until December 31, 2024.
What You Should Do if Your Employer is Hiring Again but Won’t Consider You for Your Old Position
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE aka Labor Board) shall have exclusive jurisdiction to enforce this new law. So, if your employer refused to rehire you for a job that you were laid off of, you should contact the DLSE and file a claim.
The DLSE has the authority to award aggrieved employees the following:
Hiring and reinstatement rights
Front pay or back pay for each day during which the violation continues
Value of the benefits the laid-off employee would have received under the employer’s benefit plan
We hope this article has been helpful. Take care!
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Pregnant women often find that maternity leave is complicated and daunting. It does not have to be! There are a few basics that we cover in this post: what are your rights, what if your boss is upset that you will take a leave, and what to do if you get fired. Taking maternity leave in California is better than most states. The laws protect you here more than anywhere else in the country.
Basic Maternity Leave Rights in CA
The first question that many expecting employees face is whether they are entitled to maternity leave at all. The answer is usually, yes! California’s main pregnancy leave of absence laws (CFRA, FMLA, PDL, FEHA) apply to most employers. You have a right to take maternity leave. Employers are not required to pay employees during maternity leave. Even though employees do not have a right to pay from their employers during maternity leave, most California employees have a right to California’s state disability insurance during their leave. Fortunately, pregnancy related illnesses are considered disabilities by California law; employees often have a right to disability insurance payments during their leave. Visit California’s EDD website for more information.
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Leave to Bond With Your Child – 12 Weeks
California provides leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”).To be eligible for leave under CFRA, certain requirements must be met. The employee must work for an employer that has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee’s worksite. The employee must have worked for their employer more than 12 months. The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the employer of work in the preceding year.
In California, expecting employees are not only entitled to maternity leave for the childbirth itself, but they also have a right to time off for disabilities related to the pregnancy as well. The definition of “disabled” is fairly broad. Most employers that have five or more employees, which includes most businesses in California, are governed by California’s main pregnancy discrimination law, the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA).
She has a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth
This can include, but is not limited too, the following: childbirth, loss of child, post-partum depression, bed-rest, prenatal care, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, postnatal care, etc.
How long can you pregnancy disability leave last? FEHA gives female employees a right to maternity leave for up to four months.However, this maternity leave is only available to the employee as long as she is disabled from the childbirth, pregnancy, or some related condition.
The right to as much as 12 weeks of bonding time under CFRA is distinct from the right to pregnancy disability leave under FEHA. Accordingly, the bonding time under CFRA may be taken after the employee takes up to four months of pregnancy disability leave—totaling up to as much as seven months of total maternity leave depending on the length of the employee’s pregnancy disability.
Does maternity leave need to be taken all at once?
No, California’s FEHA provides for as much as four months of maternity leave for disabilities related to pregnancy and childbirth. But often disabilities are not continuous. Expecting mothers can take some time off during one trimester, or during an emergency, and then take the rest after delivery. This is called intermittent leave and is considered a reasonable accommodation.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees if they’re requested and if a health care provider has advised it. Your employer will likely ask you for a doctors note. If intermittent leave is expected, employers may explore a temporary transfer to a similar position with equal pay and benefits.
However, just because you are pregnant, does not mean they cannot fire you. If you are a bad employee, they can fire you. If they are laying off your department, you can go too. If you get fired while you are pregnant suspect the reason you were fired was your pregnancy, call a wrongful termination lawyer to investigate your case.
Do California employees have a right to their job after taking maternity leave?
Yes. Employees in California that exercise their right to maternity leave may not be discriminated against for taking a leave of absence. They have a right to return to their same or a similar position after their maternity leave has ended. The employer is not allowed to cut your pay when you return.
2021 Pregnacy Discrimination Update
I originally posted this article on February 27, 2015. I’ve updated it several times. Its now 2021 and some women are wondering if CA’s maternity leave laws have changed at all. First of all, the foundation of CA’s anti-discrimination laws have not changed. If you believe that you were fired because of your pregnancy, disability related to pregnancy, or maternity leave you should call the best employment lawyer in California for a free consultation. Some administrative rules and laws may have changed in 2019, but the majority of the calls to our office are about termination or expected termination. Therefore, it is unlikely that the maternity leave laws in California that may have changed in 2019 would affect the analysis of our office during your consultation.
What are the legal implications of quitting your job? Can you collect unemployment? Severance? What if you have a case and you quit (vs letting them fire you), will you still be able to take action? I answer all of those questions in this video.
My office gets a lot of calls from people who quit and still want to take action. This video details the critical things that lawyers look at in this situation.
As with all things in life, making a complaint at work is a risk. If you complain to human resources the wrong way, you might get fired (it happens far more often than people think). That is why I took the time to make a video about the correct way to complain to HR.
This video will explain the five things you need to know before you complain about your issue at work. It also covers how HR will react to your complaint and what you should expect if they conduct an “investigation.”
If you found this video to be helpful, please leave a comment below!
I’m an employment lawyer. My office gets thousands of calls a year from employees. I talk to other lawyers everyday who do what I do. And I’ve realized that human resources does a terrible job helping their employees.
This video dives deep into HR and why, even if they want to help you, they largely can’t. I spend a lot of time detailing the five reasons HR sucks.
So why is HR so bad at helping humans? Here is why:
If you found this to be helpful, please leave a comment below.
This is a very common question. At-will employment does not mean that the company can fire you for any reason they want. That is incorrect. In this video, employment attorney Branigan Robertson explains the at-will doctrine and how it actually works.
Please note that nothing presented on this website is legal advice. Every situation and every client's legal matter is different and this website is merely meant to provide information to the public. Nor does this website create an attorney-client relationship - such a relationship has not been formed until a signed fee agreement has been made. If you want legal advice or want to know if you have suffered a legal wrong in the workplace, contact our office.