Many workers in California have the right to take job-protected leave under certain circumstances. However, many do not take advantage of their ability to take this leave because they are not fully aware of their rights and are therefore worried about their job security.
If you are unsure of the leave you are eligible to take, you should start by verifying whether the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to you. The FMLA is a federal law that entitles eligible workers to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave per year without it posing any risk to their job security.
If you are employed by a private company, you are only eligible for FMLA leave if your employer has 50 or more employees for more than 20 weeks in the year. Additionally, you must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 12 months, and you need to have worked at least 1,250 hours during those last 12 months.
If you are eligible for FMLA leave, you must also show that you have a good reason to take it. You can take FMLA leave for reasons relating to your personal health, for example, if you are not able to work because of a serious health condition. You can also take FMLA leave to take care of an immediate family member who has a serious health condition.
If you want to take FMLA leave but your employer is denying you of it, you should make sure that you take action to understand your rights.