The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law in 1993, though many employees have not heard of the FMLA. In the simplest terms, the FMLA provides unpaid, job-protected leave for employees with a serious medical condition, or to care for a sick family member. Leave by an employee may be taken all at once or may be taken for certain periods as a medical condition or illness may require.
California offers several different options for employees who need to take a family or medical leave. Each type of leave offers different benefits and/or levels of protection. Below we have provided a brief overview of some of the major programs available to California employees.
The short answer is no, but employers frequently get this wrong. Many large corporations have policies that require termination of employees after their twelve weeks of leave is over, but the employee still needs more time to heal before returning to work. Illegal application by employers of set leave limit policies can result in a wrongful termination.
A parent shouldn't have to choose between caring for a sick child and earning enough to put food on the table. A mother should be able to spend time with a newborn without sacrificing her weekly wages. And a seriously ill individual shouldn't be putting himself and the general public at risk just because he is unable to afford missing a day of work. Yet these are exact scenarios that an astonishingly large number of Americans face each and every day. These are the impossible choices American workers face without any law to protect their income when life interrupts work.