Workers in California have the legal right to take medical leave under both state and federal laws.
If your employer denied your request for intermittent leave under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), retaliated against you, demoted you, or eliminated your position while you were on an intermittent FMLA leave, call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your case.
We help clients in Los Angeles, the surrounding counties, and throughout Northern and Southern California.
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What is intermittent FMLA leave?
FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of leave every year, unpaid, to attend to a serious medical condition. The medical condition may be their own. FMLA also allows employees to take leave to attend to certain close family members experiencing a serious medical condition. If an employee takes this protected unpaid leave, their employer must allow them to return to their position.
FMLA leave does not have to be taken all at once. The law allows workers to take FMLA leave in shorter blocks as needed, provided they do not exceed the maximum yearly allowance. If an employee is sick for two weeks, then later must care for their spouse for three weeks, they would be allowed to take the leave separately. So long as the total does not exceed twelve weeks, the employee's job would be protected. This schedule is known as intermittent FMLA leave.
Leave under California law
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) also provides the right to take leave under state law. The CFRA provides more comprehensive protections in several key areas.
First, pregnancy is covered for up to sixteen weeks of leave.
Second, registered domestic spouses are considered the same as a spouse for purposes of qualifying for leave.
The CFRA is a bit more limited than FMLA when it comes to family members who are active-duty military members, but because FMLA still covers an employee, this is generally not an issue.
It is essential to understand that FMLA and CFRA will normally run concurrently - not consecutively. This means that you cannot take twelve weeks off for FMLA followed by another twelve weeks under the CFRA.
For further information call our office at 888-762-0297.
Intermittent FMLA leave: Guidelines
To fall under the protection of FMLA, intermittent leave must meet a few requirements:
All of the leave must be taken for the same reasons
The leave must be taken in the same year
The intermittent schedule must be medically necessary
An employee must also make reasonable efforts not to disrupt their employer's functions more than is necessary. For example: suppose a father must work half days to take his chronically ill child to a series of medical appointments. The employer must accommodate this intermittent leave schedule, but the father must also be flexible in arranging it. He might schedule all of the child's appointments in the morning or afternoon, depending on which is better for the employer. An employee has the right to decline these accommodations if they are not possible under their health care provider's recommendations.