The Federal Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the analogous California Medical Leave Act (“CFRA”), provide that if you have been employed for a year or more or have worked at least 1,250 hours within the year prior to taking leave, and if your employer has 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius of your worksite, you are eligible to take an unpaid medical leave of absence for a period of 12 weeks for any of the following reasons: (1) the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee (maternity and paternity leave); (2) placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care; (3) to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or (4) to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition or disability. The law also requires that employers maintain all group health benefits during any period of leave.
Following the conclusion of the leave, the employer is required to reinstate the employee to the same or comparable position. Employees need not specifically identify FMLA or CFRA when requesting leave Violations or CFRA in requesting leave. If you are an eligible employee under the FMLA/CFRA, and you are denied medical leave or terminated either after the request or soon after returning from leave, you may have a claim for violation of the FMLA/CFRA as well as retaliation. Employees are often wrongfully terminated in retaliation for taking this type of leave. If you return to work after your leave, and experience harassment, this is also a form of medical leave retaliation.
If you do not qualify for leave under the FMLA/CFRA, your employer still has the duty to engage in a good faith, interactive process to determine if you need a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation can be a finite leave of absence.
Our Employment Lawyers can help in cases of Denial of Medical Leave, or retaliation and harassment following medical leave.