FMLA & CFRA Attorneys
If you believe your employer has violated state and federal unpaid leave laws, Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC can help. Shimoda has experienced attorneys who understand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
FMLA applies to public and private employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of a worksite. Recent changes to the CFRA amended this requirement, allowing some employees who do not qualify for FMLA to take family and medical leave under CFRA.
Unfortunately, many employers violate this law by refusing to let their employees take FMLA, CFRA leave. Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC can help you get the time off you need and seek compensation for damages if your employer has refused to let you take the time off you deserve. Work with us for comprehensive representation in all employment law matters.
What Are FMLA And CFRA?
To ensure that workers have access to unpaid time off, the federal government passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the State of California passed the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
The CFRA partly mirrors the federal FMLA, with the overall intent of the CFRA to mandate that covered employers help employees balance work and personal medical demands while maintaining reasonable job protections.
While both laws closely resemble one another, they have some differences, allowing employees to take advantage of one over the other, depending on their eligibility.
If you’ve unexpectedly taken FMLA or CFRA and lost your job, as a result, contact Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC to pursue legal action.
Were You Eligible For FMLA Or CFRA?
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
To be eligible for job-protected FMLA leave, an employee must work must have:
- Worked for their employer for at least 12 months.
- Worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before the start of the FMLA leave.
- Work at (or receive direction from) a location with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of that location.
California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
The CFRA applies to private employers with five or more employees for 20 or more calendar workweeks during the current or preceding calendar year.
Employees must meet two eligibility requirements to take CFRA job-protected leave:
- The employee must have 12 months of service with the employer. The 12 months of service do not have to be consecutive.
- The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately before the date the CFRA leave is to begin.
What Qualifying Life Events Entitle Me To FMLA Or CFRA Leave?
An employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave for one or more of the following reasons:
- The employee’s own serious health condition.
- The birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
- To care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
- Qualifying exigencies arise when the employee’s spouse, child (of any age), or parent is active duty military or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty. Qualifying exigencies include making alternative childcare arrangements, attending certain military ceremonies and briefings, or making financial or legal arrangements to address the military member’s absence.
The CFRA provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave in 12 months for the following qualifying events:
- Bonding with or caring for a newborn, the adoption or foster care placement of a child.
- Care for the employee’s spouse (including those in same-sex marriages), registered domestic partner, child (of any age), child of a domestic partner, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild.
- An employee’s serious medical condition prevents them from performing their job duties.
- Qualifying exigencies arise when the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child (of any age), or parent is active duty military or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty. Qualifying exigencies include making alternative childcare arrangements, attending certain military ceremonies and briefings, or making financial or legal arrangements to address the military member’s absence.
If your employer denied your FMLA or CFRA request and you meet the eligibility requirements, our firm will ensure you receive your legally entitled compensation.
What Damages Can I Collect From Proving FMLA Or CFRA Violations?
If you’re successful in proving your employer violated federal FMLA or state CFRA, you may be entitled to collect:
Lost Wages: You could win the money you lost if the company terminated you because you requested or took a leave of absence.
Liquidated Damages: In FMLA cases, you can win an amount equal to your award of lost damages. These penalty-type damages are called liquidated damages.
Attorney’s Fees: The law permits plaintiffs to recover attorney’s fees on top of other types of damages in leave of absence cases like CFRA.
How We Approach FMLA and CFRA Cases
Initial consultation: Our attorneys will speak with you and gather the specifics about your case.
Review & Plan: Once we have the specifics and the documentation of your FMLA or CFRA case, our team can build a legal strategy to achieve your best outcome.
Representation & Resolution: While we will explore whether amicable resolution with your employer is possible, there are times where the matter must go to court. In this instance, our firm will aggressively represent you and pursue an outcome in your best interest.
I had the pleasure of working with Galen and the Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC over a period of a couple of years. They were absolutely a delight to work with. The staff was entirely professional and would respond to any questions I had immediately. I was impressed with Galen’s strong work ethic and conviction in my case and me as a client. He and Renald went above and beyond to ensure I was taken care of and kept me in the loop every step of the way. I felt completely supported and knew they had my back throughout the case. I highly recommend the Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC– Arika B.
Frequently Asked Questions About FMLA And CFRA
How Is The CFRA Different From The FMLA?
For eligible employees, both the FMLA and the CFRA allow 12 weeks of unpaid leave in one year for the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child, to care for a family member who has a serious medical condition, or to care for your medical condition. However, the CFRA:
- Considers registered domestic partners equal to a spouse.
- Does not consider pregnancy a serious health condition.
- Employers cannot ask for a diagnosis of an employee’s serious health condition, unlike FMLA.
- Employers cannot request second and third medical opinions about the serious health condition of the employee or their family member.
- Does not require your employer’s permission to take intermittent bonding leave, but you do have to use this leave in two-week increments.
What should I do if my employer denied my FMLA or CFRA request?
Beginning January 1, 2021, California employers with five or more employees must allow eligible employees to take unpaid family and medical leave to care for their serious health conditions under the CFRA.
Contact our law office today if your employer denied your CFRA claim under the expanded eligibility.
If your employer denied your FMLA request and you meet the employment qualifications, request an inquiry to learn what issues they found with your specific case.
Once you’ve reviewed your denial and know you’ve been with the company for 12 months with 1,250 hours of work in a company with 50+ employees, you can move forward.
Do I Get Paid While On FMLA or CFRA?
Although employers must provide health insurance continuation during CFRA leave, the leave is unpaid.
But employees may be eligible to receive wage replacement benefits under the State of California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation With Our FMLA And CFRA Lawyers
You do not have to navigate these complex regulations alone, especially if you are also coping with an illness, an injury, or a family matter. Contact our law firm for a phone consultation. Talk to an attorney by calling 833-201-0213 or using our online contact form. We will promptly return all email contacts with a phone call.