Chapter 24:
Mandatory Leaves for California Employers

Updated as of August 2006

 

 

 

CHAPTER CONTENTS

 

 

 

Family and Medical Leave

 

Family Medical Leaves Coordinated with Pregnancy Leave for California Employers

 

 

 

Other Leaves

A. School Leave of Suspended Pupil
B. School Activity Visits
C. Voting Leave
D. Election Officer Leave
E. Jury Duty Leave
F. Witness and Crime Victim Leave
G. Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Crime Leave
H. Volunteer Firefighters
I. Military Leave (For more detail see chapter on Military Leaves)
J. Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Leave
K. Workers' Compensation Leave
L. Americans with Disabilities Act
M. Literacy Education Assistance
N. California Military Spouse Leave

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVES

 

Coordinated with PREGNANCY DISABILITY LEAVE FOR CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS

 

 

 

 

 


Covered Employers

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (29 USC §§ 2601 et seq. and 29 CFR 825)

Employers engaged in activity affecting commerce who employ 50 or more employees in any 20 weeks of the current or preceding calendar year; public agencies and private elementary and secondary schools are covered regardless of the number of employees.

State California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (Part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act: Government Code §12945)

Employers engaged in business or enterprise in California who employ 50 or more employees in any 20 weeks of current or preceding calendar year; State of California, counties, and any political or civil subdivision of the state and cities, regardless of the number of employees.

State Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) (Part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act: Government Code §12945)

Pursuant to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, employers with 5 or more full or part time employees.

 

 


Covered Employees

FMLA - Employed with employer for at least 12 months (need not be consecutive months), worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave, and employed at a worksite where 50 or more employees work within a distance of 75 surface miles.

CFRA - Same as FMLA. Note: If CFRA leave is taken immediately after pregnancy disability leave, the 1,250 hours of service in the prior 12 months, commences on the first day of FMLA leave not when the subsequent CFRA leave starts.

 

PDL - A woman disabled due to pregnancy related conditions regardless of the length of employment or hours of service with the employer.

 

 

 


Reason for Leave

 

FMLA - Because of the serious health condition of the employee, the employee's child, spouse, or parent and for the birth of a child of the employee, placement of a child or adoption or foster care. Includes any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, including prenatal examinations or severe morning sickness.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA with the exception of pregnancy. Pregnancy related disability leaves are specifically excluded as a reason for CFRA leave. However, at the end of the employee's pregnancy disability leave and after the birth of the child the mother may take an additional 12 weeks under the CFRA to bond with her child regardless of whether the mother or child is disabled. And, if the end of the 4 months PDL is reached before the birth, the employer may choose to allow the employee to use CFRA leave.

 

PDL - A woman disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, including prenatal care and severe morning sickness.

 

 

 


Duration of Leave

 

FMLA - Up to 12 weeks in an established 12-month period. Intermittent leaves or a reduced work schedule may be taken when medically necessary. In order to better accommodate these types of leaves for planned or unanticipated medical treatment the employer may temporarily transfer the employee to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits. Only the amount of leave actually taken may be counted toward the 12 weeks of leave. Leave taken for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement must be concluded within 12 months of the event and taken in one continuous period unless the employer agrees to grant intermittent leaves or a reduced work schedule. See diagram above for employers' options in establishing a twelve-month period.

 

Eligible FMLA employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave for “any qualifying exigency” arising because the spouse, son, daughter. or parent of the employee is on active military duty. or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, is in support of a contingency operation. The family member must be a member or the Guard, Reserve, or be a retired member of the Armed Services. This leave is not available if the family member of the Regular armed Forces are not eligible. .This is not available under CFRA, therefore CFRA leave would still be available for other qualifying leaves,

 

An employee who the spouse, parent child, or “next of kin” of a covered service member may take a total of 26 weeks of leave during a 12 month period to care for covered service member who is ill or injured in the line of duty on active duty. health benefits run for the 26 weeks. Under CFRA, if the “next of kin” is not the spouse. child, or parent, then the leave is not available as CFRA leave. Furthermore, CFRA leave is only for 12 months. So the last 14 weeks would be FMLA only.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA with the exception that leave(s) taken for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement shall be granted at a minimum of two-week increments. On two occasions increments of less than two weeks may be used.

 

Regarding leaves for family members of military personnel, please see the previous two paragraphs above.

 

PDL - Up to 4 months or the equivalent number of days the employee would normally work within 4 months (This is equivalent to 88 days for a person scheduled to work five eight-hour days per week.). Intermittent leaves or a reduced work schedule may be taken. To better accommodate these types of leaves the employer may temporarily transfer the employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits. The employer must also reasonably accommodate a temporary transfer if medically advisable. The employer is not required to create a position, discharge another employee, violate terms of a collective bargaining agreement, transfer another employee with more seniority, promote or transfer the employee if she is not qualified for the position.

 

 

 


Employee Benefits

 

FMLA - Employer must continue any group health plan for the duration of FMLA leave, at least 12 weeks in a 12-month period, under the same conditions as if the employee was actively working. Longer health plan coverage or other benefits are determined by the employer's policy to the same extent and under the same conditions as would apply to any other leave.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA. Note: Maintaining group health coverage for 12 weeks commences on the first day the FMLA begin even if CFRA is taken at a later date, as is the case after pregnancy disability leave.

 

PDL - Generally, any benefits to the extent the employer provides such benefits for other temporary disabilities.

 

 

 


Paid or Unpaid

 

FMLA - Unpaid, however, an employee may choose or the employer may require substitution of unpaid FMLA with vacation or other accrued time off and/or sick pay to the extent the circumstances meet the employer's usual requirements for the use of sick pay.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA.

 

PDL - The employee may choose or the employer may require the use of sick pay while on PDL. Only the employee may elect to use any vacation time or other accrued personal time off (PTO) during the unpaid portion of the PDL.

 

 

 


Job Restoration

 

FMLA - Employee must be reinstated to the same or equivalent position at end of leave. However, the employee has no greater right to reinstatement, benefits, or to other conditions of employment than if he or she was continuously employed during FMLA leave. Exception only for salaried key employees (highest paid 10% of all employees within 75 miles of worksite) who are identified at time notice is given if denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the employer and employee has been properly notified.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA.

 

PDL - After returning from PDL or transfer, the employer must reinstate the employee to the same position unless to do so would substantially undermine the employer's ability to operate the business safely and efficiently in which case the employer must make reasonable effort to reinstate the employee to a comparable position unless to do so would substantially undermine the employer's ability to operate the business safely and efficiently. However, the employee has no greater right to reinstatement than if she had been continuously employed.

 

FMLA - It is the employer's obligation to designate leave as FMLA leave, in writing, generally within two business days (absent extenuating circumstances) and indicate if leave is paid or unpaid.

 

CFRA - Same as FMLA.

 

PDL - The employer must respond to the leave or transfer request as soon as practicable but no later than 10 calendar days. After responding leave may start retroactive to the first day of leave. (Title 2 CCR 7291.10 (a)(6))

 

 

 


Posting Requirements

 

FMLA - Notice explaining entitlements of leave and procedures for filing a complaint with the federal Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, must be posted in a prominent place, readily seen by employees and job applicants. If a significant portion of workers are not literate in English, the notice must be in a language in which the employees are literate. If an employer has FMLA eligible employees and provides written guidance on benefits and leaves, FMLA entitlements must be included in that guidance. (29 CFR 825.301)

 

CFRA - Employees' right to request CFRA must be posted in a conspicuous place where employees tend to congregate. If 10% or more of employees at a facility or establishment speak a primary language other than English, the notice must be translated in their language. If an employer publishes a handbook dealing with other personal or medical leaves, CFRA must be included in the handbook. Employers are encouraged to give current and new employees a copy of the notice. (Title 2 CCR § 7297.9)

 

PDL - Employees' right to request pregnancy disability leave or transfer. If 10% or more of employees at a facility or establishment speak a primary language other than English, the notice must be translated into their language. If an employer publishes a handbook dealing with other disability leaves, PDL provisions must be included in the handbook. Notice must be posted in a place where employees congregate. Employers are encouraged to give the notice to new and current employees. They must give the notice upon request and as soon as possible after an employee tells the employer of her pregnancy. The regulations contain two notices. Notice "A" is for employers with less than 50 employees who are therefore not subject to CFRA or FMLA. Notice "B" is for employers with 50 or more employees. It combines CFRA leave rights with pregnancy disability leave rights.(Title 2 CCR § 7291.16)

 

 

 


FAMILY LEAVE 12 - MONTH COMPUTATION PERIOD

 

An employee eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is entitled to 12 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period using one of the four options to calculate the leave period:

 

  1. The calendar year; i.e., January 1 through December 31,
  2. Any fixed 12-month period (e.g., fiscal year, employee's anniversary date, etc.);
  3. The 12-month period measured forward from the date an employee's first FMLA begins; or
  4. A rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.

 

Whichever option the employer chooses, it must be applied consistently and uniformly. The chosen option must also be communicated to the employees. If an employer fails to select one of the four options, the option that provides the most beneficial outcome for the employee must be used. If the employer subsequently selects or changes an option, the employer must provide a 60-day notice to all employees before implementation. An employee on FMLA leave during the 60-day transition period is entitled to the most beneficial option and must not be disadvantaged in taking a full 12-week leave.

 

Under California Family Rights Act (CFRA), when FMLA and CFRA leaves run concurrently, the employer may choose any of the options allowed under the FMLA regulations. See 29 CFR 825.200 and Title 2 CCR §7297.3.

 

Note: CFRA does not run concurrently with PDL. FMLA may, however, run concurrently with either CFRA or PDL.

 

 

 

SECTION A: SCHOOL LEAVE OF SUSPENDED PUPIL

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 230.7

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every employer.
  2. Reason for Leave: An employee who is also a parent or guardian needing time off work to attend a school discipline conference upon the request of the school principal/administrator.
  3. Duration of Leave: Unspecified.
  4. Compensation: Not required to pay. However, exempt employees may not incur reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against the employee for taking time off to appear in school at the request of the principal/administrator as long as the employee has given reasonable advance notice to the employer.

 

 

 

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SECTION B: SCHOOL VISITS

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 230.8

 

  1. Covered Employer: Employers with 25 or more employees at the same location.
  2. Reason for Leave: Time off for an employee, who is a parent, guardian, or grandparent having custody of one or more children in kindergarten through 12th grade, or attending a licensed childcare facility, to participate in activities of the school or licensed child day care facility of any of his or her children.
  3. Duration of Leave: Maximum of 40 hours each year, but may be limited to eight hours a calendar month. If both parents work for the same employer, the one who requested the leave first is entitled to it. The employer does not have to allow both parents to be gone at the same time. They may agree to do so, however.
  4. Compensation: Not required, but the employee shall utilize vacation, personal or compensatory time except for vacation time that has been pre-designated by the employer, such as mandatory vacation at a Christmas shut down and any use of vacation provided by a collective bargaining agreement. Exempt employees may not incur a reduction in wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: An employer may not discharge or discriminate against the employee because of taking time off to participate in activities of the school as long as the employee has given reasonable advance notice to the employer. The employer may also request documentation that he or she participated in the activities of the school or licensed day care facility on a specific date at a specific time. Acceptable documentation is what the school or licensed day care facility deems appropriate and reasonable.

 

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SECTION C: VOTING LEAVE

 

 

 

California Elections Code Section 14000 -14003

 

  1. Covered Employer: All public and private employers.
  2. Reason for Leave: To vote at a statewide election.
  3. Duration of Leave: The employer must allow sufficient time off, when added to the time outside of working hours in order to vote at a statewide election. Time off must be at the beginning or end of the regular shift, unless otherwise mutually agreed. Two days advance notice required, if possible.
  4. Compensation: Pay up to two hours. However, exempt employees may not incur a reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: Yes, this is an excused absence.
  6. Mandatory Posting: Must post the provisions of section 14000, 10 days before every statewide election.

 

 

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SECTION D: ELECTION OFFICER LEAVE

 

 

 

California Election Code Section 12312

 

  1. Covered Employer: All public and private employers.
  2. Reason for Leave: Time off to serve as an election officer on Election Day. Unlike voting leave, an election officer leave applies not only to statewide elections, but also to local and special elections.
  3. Duration of Leave: Limited to Election Day. However, employers should consult with counsel before penalizing an election officer for service on other days.
  4. Compensation: Not required. However, exempt employees may not incur reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: No person shall be suspended or discharged for absence while serving as an election officer on election day.

 

 

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SECTION E: JURY DUTY LEAVE

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 230

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every employer.
  2. Reason for Leave: To serve as on an inquest or trial jury as required by law.
  3. Duration: Unlimited
  4. Employee Responsibility: Provide reasonable notice that he or she is required to serve.
  5. Employer Responsibility: Employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against the employee.
  6. Compensation: No compensation is required. Employees have the right to use vacation, personal leave or compensatory time off. Exempt salaried employees must be paid a full week's pay for any workweek in which they serve on jury duty. An absence for jury duty for a full workweek does not require payment. (29 CFR section 541.118)
  7. Job Protection: Employer may not discharge, threaten with discharge, demote, suspend or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against the employee serving as a juror.

 

 

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SECTION F: WITNESS AND CRIME VICTIM LEAVE

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 230

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every employer.
  2. Reason for Leave: Victims of crimes and witnesses to crime must be allowed time off which includes but is not limited to the requirements of a subpoena or other order to appear in court.
  3. Duration of Leave: Unspecified.
  4. Compensation: Not required to pay. Employees have the right to use vacation, personal leave or compensatory time off while appearing as a witness . Exempt employees must be paid for a full day when working any part of a day and for a full week when working any part of a week if they are absent to be a witness. (29 CFR § 541.118)
  5. Job Protection: Employer may not discharge, threaten with discharge, demote, suspend or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against the employee for taking this leave.

 

 

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SECTION G: VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR CRIME

 

 

 

Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault under California Labor Code Section 230

 

  1. Covered Employer: All employers.
  2. Reason for Leave: A victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault must be granted time off to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim and his or her child.
  3. Duration: Not specified
  4. Employee Responsibility: Employees may be required to produced certification of the reason for the absence which may be in the form of a police report, court order or documentation from a medical professional.
  5. Employer Responsibility: Employers must keep the information confidential. Employers must give employees reasonable time to obtain certification to document their absence.
  6. Compensation: Not required to pay. However, exempt employees must be paid for a full day when working any part of a day. Employees have the right to use vacation, personal leave or compensatory time off.
  7. Job Protection: Employer may not discharge, threaten with discharge, demote, suspend or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against the employee for taking this leave.


Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault under California Labor Code Section 230.1

  1. Covered Employer: All employers with 25 or more employees.
  2. Eligibility: All employees are eligible. There are no requirements relative to length or service or hours worked. The persons who may be victims of domestic violence are defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code. They include the spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, parent, child, fiancé and various other persons.
  3. Reason for Leave: Enables employees to take time off for issues relating to domestic violence that include:
    • To seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault.
    • To obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault.
    • To obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence or sexual assault.
    • To participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation.
  4. Duration: Not more than 12 weeks. The leave does not create a right for an employee to take unpaid leave that exceeds the unpaid leave time allowed under FMLA.
  5. Employee Responsibility: To obtain certification of the reason for the leave. To provide reasonable advance notice of intention to take time off unless advance notice is not feasible. If it is not feasible to provide advance notice, provide certification within a reasonable time after the absence.
  6. Employer Responsibility: To the extent allowed by law, employers shall maintain the confidentiality of any employee requesting a leave of absence. The employer may not take any action against the employee when an unscheduled absence occurs, if the employee, within a reasonable time after the absence, provides a certification to the employer.
  7. What type of certification can be required?
    • A police report indicating that the employee was a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
    • A court order protecting or separating the employee from the perpetrator of an act of domestic violence or sexual assault, or other evidence from the court or prosecuting attorney that the employee appeared in court.
    • Documentation from a medical professional, domestic violence advocate, sexual assault advocate, health care provider, or counselor that the employee was undergoing treatment for physical or mental injuries or abuse resulting in victimization from an act of domestic violence or sexual assault .
  8. Compensation: There is no requirement to pay an employee on domestic violence or sexual assault leave. An employee is entitled to use vacation time, personal leave or compensated time off. Exempt employees must be paid a full day's pay if they work any part of a day.
  9. What is the relationship between the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Leave and FMLA? They are two separate leaves. Although the regulations do not address this point, it may be assumed that if the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Leave also qualifies as an FMLA leave, the two may run concurrently.
  10. Job Protection: Employees cannot be discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended or in any other manner discriminated or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment.

 

 

 

Victims of crimes and certain others related to the victims under California Labor Code Section 230.2

 

1. Covered Employers: All employers.
2. Eligibility: Employees who are victims of violent or serious felonies or felonies involving theft or embezzlement. Immediate family members, registered domestic partners or children of registered domestic partners of crime victims are also eligible.
3. Reason for Leave: To attend judicial proceedings related to the crime.
4. Duration of Leave: Not specified.
5. Employee Responsibility: To give a copy of the notice of the scheduled proceeding when advance notice is feasible. When it is not feasible, the employee must provide documentation of the judicial proceeding within a reasonable time after the absence.
6. Employer Responsibility: The employers must keep any records regarding the employee's absence confidential.
7. Compensation: Not paid. Employee may use accrued paid vacation time, personal leave time, sick leave time, compensatory time off that is otherwise available or unpaid leave time. If the employee is part of a collective bargaining unit this requirement may not diminish the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
8. Job Protection: Employees may not be discharged, threatened with discharge nor discriminated against in any manner for exercising their rights under this law.

 

 

 

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SECTION H: VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS

 

Volunteer Firefighter Leave under California Labor Code Section 230.3

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every employer. An exception may apply for public safety agencies or providers of emergency medical services.
  2. Reason for Leave: Emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter.
  3. Duration of Leave: Unspecified.
  4. Compensation: Not required, however, exempt employees may not incur reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: Employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against the employee.


Volunteer Firefighter Training Leave under California Labor Code Section 230.4

  1. Covered Employer: An employee who is a volunteer firefighter, and works for an employer employing 50 or more employees.
  2. Reason for Leave: To engage in fire or law enforcement training.
  3. Duration of Leave: Leave not to exceed an aggregate of 14 days per calendar year.
  4. Compensation: Not required, however, exempt employees may not incur reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  5. Job Protection: Employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against the employee.

 

 

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SECTION I: MILITARY LEAVE

Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

 

38 USC Section 4301, et seq.

 

 

 

Note: For more detailed information see separate chapter on Military Leave

 

  1. Covered Employer: All employers.
  2. Reason for Leave: To serve in the uniformed services on a voluntary or involuntary basis, including absence for a fitness examination. Uniformed services refers to the U.S. Armed Services (including the Coast Guard); Army National Guard and Air National Guard (when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full time National Guard duty); and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
  3. Duration of Leave: Generally, up to five years (some exceptions to the rule may apply).
  4. Compensation: Not required to pay. However, exempt employees working any part of a workweek while on temporary military leave may not incur a reduction of wages for that particular week.
  5. Job Protection: Conditional, based on the following general prerequisites (certain exceptions may apply):
    • Advance notice of military service was given to the employer.
    • Military service ended honorably.
    • Service did not exceed five years (some exceptions apply).
    • The individual reported or submitted a timely application for reemployment which is based on particular lengths of service.
    • Special protection for disability due to military service.
    • In addition to reemployment rights, the individual has job retention rights and benefits rights based on seniority, such as, vacation and pension.

 

 

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SECTION J: ALCOHOL AND DRUG REHABILITATION LEAVE

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 1025

 

Also see Family Medical Leaves below

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every private employer with 25 or more employees.
  2. Reason for Leave: Time off to participate in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.
  3. Duration of Leave: Unspecified.
  4. Compensation: Not required, may utilize available sick pay. Exempt employees may not incur a reduction in wages for partial day absences (exception may qualify under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). CFRA does not address partial days and exempt status.)
  5. Job Protection: The employer may deny leave if it imposes an undue hardship on the employer. However, if the employee is covered under the FMLA, the employer most likely will have to restore the employee to his or her job.

 

 

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SECTION K: WORKERS' COMPENSATION

 

 

 

California Labor Code Section 3200, et seq.

 

Also see chapter on Chapter 18

 

  1. Covered Employer: Every employer.
  2. Reason for Leave: Absences as a result of injuries or illnesses that arise out of and in the course of the employment.
  3. Duration of Leave: Indefinite. If the work related injury or illness qualifies as a serious health condition under FMLA/CFRA, these leaves may run concurrently with the Workers' Compensation Leave. (29 CFR 825.207(d)(2))
  4. Compensation: Temporary disability benefits received by the employee vary depending on the severity of the injury, the permanence of the disability and the employee's earnings prior to the injury.
  5. Benefits: Continuation of health insurance (ERISA plans) is required for as long as employees with other types of disability leaves are allowed to continue coverage as if they were active employees. For most employers this is 12 weeks. After that employees may continue coverage under COBRA or California COBRA.
  6. Job Protection: The employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against the employee because the employee has filed a workers' compensation claim. (California Labor Code section 132(a))

 

 

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SECTION L: DISABILITY LEAVES

 

 

 

Americans with Disabilities Act Title I

 

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 USC Section 12101, et seq.)

 

  1. Covered Employer: Private and state and local government entities with 15 or more employees are covered
  2. Covered Employee: Generally, someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment. Examples of major life activities include, but are not limited to: performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an impairment substantially limits an individual's ability to work if it prevents or significantly restricts the individual from performing a class of jobs or a broad range of jobs in various classes.
  3. Reason for Leave: Time off needed because of a disability as a reasonable accommodation
  4. Duration of Leave: Unspecified. An employer must provide reasonable accommodation where it will enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job, unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The concept of undue hardship on the employer includes any accommodation that is unduly costly, extensive, substantial, disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the business. An employer may not refuse a leave needed by an employee with a disability if other employees get such leave. In addition, granting an extended leave beyond an employer's uniform leave policy would be a reasonable accommodation unless to do so would impose an undue hardship on the employer.
  5. Compensation: Not required, but an employer must allow employees to use paid benefits such as sick days and vacation on a nondiscriminatory basis. Exempt employees may not incur reduction of wages for partial day absences.
  6. Job Protection: The employer must make sure that any action taken with regard to reinstatement of employees on disability leave is not discriminatory.


California Disability Law
Fair Employment and Housing Act

AB 2222 amending the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) went into effect on January 1, 2001.

The significant differences between FEHA and ADA that affect leaves of absence are:

  1. Covered Employer: Employers with 5 or more employees are covered.
  2. Covered Employees: Generally, someone with a physical or mental impairment that limits (not substantially limits) a major life activity or has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment. Mitigating measures are not considered in the determination of disability. Major life activities include social activity. When the activity of working is impaired it needs only make it difficult to perform a particular job rather than a class of jobs or a broad range of jobs in various classes.
  3. Employer Responsibility: Employers are required to engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine if they can make reasonable accommodation.

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SECTION M: LITERACY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE

California Labor Code Section 1040-1044

  1. Covered Employer: Private employers with 25 or more employees.
  2. Reason for Leave: Technically, not a leave requirement, but an employer shall reasonably accommodate and assist an employee in enrolling in an adult literacy educational program.
  3. Duration of Leave: Unspecified.
  4. Compensation: Not required.
  5. Job Protection: As long as the employee performs his or her job satisfactorily, he/she cannot be terminated for revealing a problem with illiteracy. In addition, the employer may deny accommodating the employee if it imposes an undue hardship on the employer.

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SECTION N: California Military Spouse Leave
(also applies to domestic partners)

An employee who works 20+ hours a week for an employer with 25+ employees can take up to 10 days while the military spouse is on leave from deployment. Some of this may run concurrently with exigency leave (which is explained under FMLA).

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