California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
What is the California Family Rights Act?
The California Family Rights Act, or CFRA, is a state law that was enacted in order to provide employees with work leave rights for reasons such as:
- Placement of the employee’s child through adoption or in a foster care home
- A serious health condition incurred by the worker’s spouse, child, or parent
- Serious health condition of the employee
Under the CFRA, the employer must provide leave for these reasons, as well as certain benefits. The employee is required to provide advanced notice when taking a CFRA leave. The law is similar in nature to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
What are Some Protections Provided by the CFRA?
The California Family Rights Act provides certain guidelines for both employees and employers regarding family-related work leave. For instance, under the CFRA:
- Employers are not required to pay the employee, (unless otherwise stated in a valid contract under employment laws)
- The employer must continue health care and other benefits during the leave
- The employer may a grant total of up to 12 work weeks in a 12-month period
- The employee must be reinstated to their previous position at the end of the leave period (although there are some legitimate reasons the employee may deny reinstatement)
As mentioned, the employee must give advanced notice of their leave. In addition, the employer must inform the employee of the notice requirement. The total of 12-weeks leave does not need to be taken all at once.
Who is Eligible for a CFRA Leave?
There are numerous requirements for which employees may be eligible for leave under the CFRA. These all relate to the various categories of reasons for the leave. For instance, if the person is filing for leave due to a health condition, they must be able to prove their condition to their employer.
Also, there are some limitations to CFRA laws. For instance, if two parents are both eligible for leave, but are working for same employer, the employer may choose to limit the leave according to CFRA guidelines.
Employer violations of CFRA requirements can lead to legal consequences, such as a damages award to reimburse the plaintiff for lost wages, benefits or other losses. Employers are not allowed to engage in conduct that constitutes family or medical leave discrimination. Violations should be reported to an agency such as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)?
The CFRA provides various protections for workers, but it also has some complicated provisions. You may need to hire a lawyer if you have any questions or legal issues involving the CFRA. Your attorney can explain your rights under the CFRA, and can assist you in court if you need to file an employment-related lawsuit.
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Last Modified: 03-22-2013 12:09 PM PDT
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