What Is a Protected Leave?
Protected leaves in California are defined as a period or leave of absence for family, medical, or military reasons, among other things. California has a number of labor and employment laws and regulations in place that far exceed the standards mandated at the federal level, and it is imperative that California employees understand their employment rights under these laws.
For example, in addition to protected leaves established under federal law, eligible employees in California have the right to take time off work for pregnancy-related disabilities, to donate an organ or bone marrow, to attend to sick relatives, to serve in the military, or to deal with certain other family and medical or personal matters.
How do California Leave Laws Protect Employees?
Protected leaves in California also protect employees from unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation as a result of requesting or taking protected leave. If your employer has retaliated against you because you requested or took a leave of absence, contact our skilled California employment law attorney at Davtyan Law Firm today to discuss your legal options.
Types of Protected Leaves in California
Employees have certain personal needs that must be considered by employers, and protected leaves in California were developed with these various needs in mind. Not only does the state of California have some of the most generous leave laws in the country, it also has one of the longest lists of leave laws, making California employees some of the most protected employees in the nation in terms of taking protected time off work.
The following are some of the protected leaves in California eligible to employees under state and federal laws:
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
- New Parent Leave Act
- Pregnancy Disability Leave
- Military Service Leave
- School Appearance and Activities Leave
- Leave for Victims of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Assault, & Stalking
- Crime Victims Leave
- Jury Duty & Witness Leave
- Voting Leave
- Organ & Bone Marrow Donation Leave
Laws Prohibiting Discrimination & Retaliation
The most important component of protected leaves in California is the fact that these laws are “protected.” This means California employers are required to reinstate eligible employees who take a protected leave of absence to their previous position or to a comparable position at the end of their leave. After all, there is little point in an employee taking a “leave of absence” if they won’t be able to return to their job when the leave is over.The term “protected” also means that employers in California are prohibited from discriminating against, retaliating against or otherwise taking adverse employment action against employees who request or take a protected leave that is provided by law.
Unlawful discrimination or retaliatory action against an employee who takes a protected leave of action may include any of the following:
- Wrongful termination
- Wrongful demotion
- Wrongful refusal to promote
Legal Remedies for Leave Law Violations in California
Too often, California employees’ rights are violated by employers who refuse to comply with state and federal leave laws, and these employees may not realize that the law provides them with legal remedies in these situations. Any eligible employee denied the right to take a leave of absence provided by law, without punishment, may have grounds to sue his or her employer.
Generally speaking, California law prohibits employers from interfering with an employee exercising or attempting to exercise his or her protected leave rights, and an employee denied the right to take a protected leave of absence, or any employee punished or discriminated against for requesting or taking leave, may be able to file a civil lawsuit for a leave law violation.
What if I Am Denied Protected Leave in California?
The state of California continues to pass important laws that expand employee rights and employer obligations, and these laws are a key component of the employee-employer relationship in California.
If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated for taking a protected leave of absence in California, or if your employer refuses to grant leave you believe you are entitled to, contact our knowledgeable California employment law attorney at Davtyan Law Firm as soon as possible.
Contact Our CA Employment Law Attorney
Our legal team has a clear understanding of the intricacies of California employment law and we have extensive experience protecting the rights of California workers whose employers violate these laws. With the help of our FMLA & protective leave lawyers in California, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against your employer for a leave law violation, pursuing reinstatement and damages like lost wages and benefits.