Employees in California and elsewhere have certain rights in the workplace. One of them is the Family and Medical Leave Act. These are your rights under this employment law.
Time off for medical leave
Eligible employees have worked at their current place of employment for at least 12 months. Regular full-time, part-time and even seasonal workers may qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to tend to a serious health condition. Employees must have worked for at least 1,250 hours within 12 months before taking their leave. However, the hours worked do not have to be consecutive.
Understanding serious health conditions
Employees can take time off for their serious health conditions or to care for a family member with one. Per employment law under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a serious health condition requires the employee or a member of their family to need continuous medical care while staying overnight at a hospital or other similar facility. The condition must be incapacitating and prevent the individual from going to work or school for over three consecutive days while needing follow-up care.
Any chronic condition that requires the individual to seek medical treatment at least twice per year qualifies as a serious health condition. Pregnancy is also considered eligible under the FMLA.
Taking FMLA time
If you have to take time off under the FMLA, you must inform your employer at least 30 days beforehand if possible. For example, if you have a child who’s sick with cancer and needs chemotherapy treatment, you might have advance notice. In some cases, one or two business days before you need to take leave is sufficient.
Employers with at least 50 or more employees must offer eligible workers time off under the FMLA. If they fail to do that, they could be in violation of the law.