Medical Leaves

Dedicated Employment Law Attorneys Representing Los Angeles and Orange County Employees Who Were Denied Medical Leave

Employers in the United States must follow state and federal laws when it comes to providing medical leave. If your employer does not allow you to take medical leave or forces you to take medical leave without pay, you may be able to pursue a Los Angeles employment lawsuit against your employer.

At the Hardin Law Group, our Los Angeles employment law attorney regularly represents employees who were either denied sick leave or forced to take unpaid leave in LA and Orange County. Attorney James Hardin has more than 25 years of hands-on experience helping workers enforce their employment rights through attentive and personalized representation. Give the Hardin Law Group a call to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles medical leave lawyer today.

Is Unpaid Medical Leave Required in California?

Yes and no, it depends on the size of the company. Under California law, employers with less than 50 employees are not legally required to provide workers with either paid or unpaid sick leave. However, for larger organizations with 50 or more employees, both state and federal law requires workers to be provided unpaid sick leave for serious health conditions or to care for a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or the child of a domestic partner.

California Medical Leave Laws

California employers must post notice for employees that clearly explains family leave rights. Additionally, before the employee takes time off for family or medical leave, the employer must guarantee to reinstate the employee to the same position or a comparable position. There are several laws in California that protect medical leave, including the Paid Family Leave Act and California’s Family Rights Act.

The Paid Family Leave Act requires an employer to provide up to six weeks of paid benefits when a full-time employee cannot work because they need to care for a parent, spouse, or registered domestic partner or to bond with a new child (biological or adopted). In 2014, the law expanded to allow time off to care for siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.

Federal Medical Leave Laws

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period. This leave may be used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Maternity leave, as well as for the care of an employee’s child;
  • Leave taken after an employee adopts a child;
  • To care for an immediate family member, such as a spouse, child, or parent, who has a serious health condition;
  • To care for an employee’s own serious health condition.

Additionally, the FMLA requires health insurance benefits to remain intact during the leave. However, note that the FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees and all public (government) employers.

Is Pregnancy Leave Considered Qualified Medical Leave?

Yes, pregnancy leave is covered under the Family Rights Act. California’s Family Rights Act requires an employer of a full-time employee to provide unpaid leave to provide care for a parent, spouse, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child, or for the employee’s own serious health condition. Employees must be given 12 weeks of leave for each 12-month period. The employee may choose, or the employer may require, that the employee use any earned but unused vacation time or other leave, including sick leave, during their absence.

California employers with at least five employees must give employees a reasonable period of leave for disability relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Your employer’s definition of reasonable may not actually be reasonable according to California law. Thus, it is essential to consult with an experienced Los Angeles medical leave attorney if your employer is denying you pregnancy leave.

California also provides leave for temporary disability, which is funded by withholding from employee paychecks. Eligible employees who are unable to work due to a temporary disability, which includes pregnancy, may receive up to 55% of their usual wages.

Examples of Medical Leave Violations

Employers can violate federal and California medical leave laws in a number of different ways, some of which include:

  • Failing to recognize serious health conditions;
  • Disciplining employees for excessive medical-related absences;
  • Failing to provide eligible employees with notice of their FMLA rights;
  • Requiring employees to give too much notice;
  • Retaliating against an employee for requesting medical leave;
  • Failing to inform employees of their rights and obligations; and
  • Failing to recognize notice provided by an employee.

Has Your Employer Violated Your Right to Take Medical Leave?

If your employer denied you the ability to take a medical leave, reach out to the dedicated Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Hardin Law Group. At the Hardin Law Group, we take pride in aggressively advocating for the rights of employees. Attorney James Hardin has more than 25 years of experience bringing employers’ unlawful practices to light and knows what it takes to secure the best possible result in even the toughest cases. We also handle wrongful termination and sexual harassment and discrimination cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call our Los Angeles employment lawyer at 310-606-2122. You can also connect with our Orange County employment attorney by calling 949-337-4810. Calling is free, and we will not accept payment for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.

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