There comes a time in every employee’s life when they will need to take some personal time for their health or to care for a loved one. When this happens, there are California state and federal laws in place to ensure that when they are able to return to work their job is still there for them. There are also laws that ensure employees have access to reasonable accommodations when they are needed to assist the employee with carrying out their duties. At Attorneys for Employees (AFE), we work with our clients to hold employers accountable when their rights to reasonable accommodation and medical leave are violated.
About The Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that entitles eligible employees to unpaid leave from their job for a specified amount of time with the assurance that their job will remain protected. During this time, there can be no changes to their group health insurance coverage. While the FMLA offers job protection to eligible employees, there are many employees who will not qualify under its terms as it only applies under the following conditions:
- The employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the employee’s workplace
- The employee has been with the employer for a minimum of 12 months
- The employee has worked a minimum of 1,250 hours in the year prior to the time the leave is needed
About the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allows eligible employees to take up to a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave within a 12-month period. While on leave, the employee’s job is protected, and the employee can maintain any existing employer-paid health benefits while the employee was working full-time. Employees can be eligible for CFRA time for the birth of a child, for necessary care provided to an immediate family member, or due to extreme health concerns.
Reasonable Workplace Accommodations, The Americans with Disabilities Act & The California Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) consists of federal laws designed to protect disabled persons from discrimination by employers, potential employers, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunication agencies, and state and federal government agencies. A pertinent part of the ADA addresses reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Essentially, this part of the ADA mandates that an employer provide an employee, or a potential employee during the interview process, with any reasonable accommodations they may need. “Reasonable” is interpreted to mean that the accommodations will not place any undue burden on the employer.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also protects against discrimination, including both physical and mental disabilities.
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations
Some examples of reasonable accommodations an employer would be expected to make can include:
- A flexible work schedule
- Reserved parking
- Improved accessibility to work spaces
- Providing mechanical or electrical aids
- Allowing assistive animals in the workplace
- Restructuring of a job to eliminate any non-essential functions
- Providing accessibility to restrooms, breakrooms, training areas, etc.
Discover Your Options with a California Medical Leave Attorney
The laws regarding medical leave and reasonable accommodations can be confusing and many employers count on their employees being ignorant of what their rights are. At AFE, we focus our practice on helping employees protect themselves and their families when they need it most. To find out more about how we can help you, contact our firm via our intake form.