Employees in California have their rights to paid family leave covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
Under the FMLA/CFRA an eligible employee can take up to 12 workweeks of job-protected leave with benefits during a rolling 12-month period in specific circumstances.
Circumstances covered by FMLA/CFRA:
- The birth of a child
- The adoption or foster care placement of child
- To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- For the employee's own serious health condition
- To care for an injured or ill service member (up to 26 weeks' leave, under FMLA only)
Employees are eligible for FMLA/CFRA leave if they have:
- Been employed for a total of at least 12 months on the date that the leave is to begin
- Has physically worked for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months (paid time off does not count)
The Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act run concurrently. Employers covered by FMLA and CFRA are private employers with 50 or more employees.
Employees who take leave under FMLA/CFRA are entitled to return to their same position of employment or an equivalent position with equivalent benefits. Those employees who believe their rights under the FMLA/CFRA have been violated may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer.
Family Temporary Disability Insurance
California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) is available to workers who pay into the state's disability insurance system. It allows workers to receive up to six weeks of partial pay each year for time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child (either through birth, adoption or foster care). Workers who take FDTI leave are eligible for up to 55 percent of their wages up to a maximum amount of $728 per week. Participation in this program does not guarantee a job at the end of the leave.