Protected Leave of Absence
Both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provide job-protected leave for employees who are absent for health-related reasons. Eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of leave in a year. During an employee's protected leave, an employer must maintain the employee's existing level of coverage under a group health plan. At the end of protected leave, an employer must take an employee back into the same or an equivalent job.
One of the most common difficulties relates to eligibility. To be eligible for leave, employees and employers must meet certain requirements:
- The employee must be employed by the employer for at least 12 months before the beginning of the leave.
- The employee must wait 12 months from the time the first FMLA or CFRA leave is taken before taking another leave.
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before a leave.
- Only certain employers must comply. The employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee's work location.