Family And Medical Leave Act (FMLA) And Employee Rights

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), California employees are legally entitled to leaves of absence from their jobs for any of the following reasons:

  • Pregnancy
  • Medical care
  • Providing care for a family member
  • Adoption

Taking a leave of absence for any of these reasons is legally protected. However, that does not prevent unscrupulous employers from attempting to interfere with employees exercising their rights. If you need to take a leave of absence that you believe you are entitled to under the FMLA or the CFRA and your employer has attempted to interfere with your leave, contact a San Francisco FMLA rights attorney at The Armstrong Law Firm to discuss your case.

Can My Employer Stop Me From Taking Pregnancy Leave?

In San Francisco, you have the right to take pregnancy leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Furthermore, an employer cannot interfere with your right to take a leave of absence or retaliate against you upon your return from leave.

The following are examples of illegal employer actions:

  • Using intimidation to prevent you from taking a pregnancy leave.
  • Threatening to fire you (see wrongful termination).
  • Threatening to demote you.
  • Assigning you undesirable job duties.
  • Transferring you to a less desirable location.
  • Threatening to deny any future promotions.
  • Reducing or threatening to reduce your pay.

"I was out on pregnancy disability leave when my employer of six years terminated me. I had always had very good work performance and they tried to say I had performance issues. I was so upset and stressed. My husband and I depended on my income to survive financially and we could barely afford to buy groceries. I was also worried for my unborn child because of my stress. I hired The Armstrong Law Firm and my employer immediately offered me my job back multiple times. I didn't want to go back to someone that treated me that way. So my case was resolved for an amount that I am very happy with."

Reviewed By: Angela M.

The FMLA Applies To More Than Just Pregnancy

While most people are familiar with the FMLA as it applies to pregnancy, the Act covers much more than childbirth and child rearing.

"Serious health conditions" are also covered under the FMLA. The law does not explicitly define what constitutes a serious health condition. However, generally speaking, a serious health condition may involve an overnight stay at a hospital or treatment facility, chronic conditions that prove to be incapacitating at least twice a year, and chronic conditions that are incapacitating for three or more consecutive days and require ongoing treatment. Common examples include treatment of serious injuries, cancer treatment and undergoing surgery.

Serious health conditions do not necessarily have to be physical in nature. Psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression may be covered under the FMLA. Taking time off of work to care for an ailing family member may also entitle you to a leave of absence.

Serving As Your Advocates Every Step Of The Way

If you have any questions about your legal rights, our firm is ready to advise you at every step of the process. We represent employees throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland, San Jose and Marin County.

Speak With Our FMLA Attorneys

If your employer has interfered, or attempted to interfere, with your ability to take pregnancy, family or medical leave, turn to our highly skilled employee rights lawyers. The Armstrong Law Firm has a record of successfully defending the rights of employees in all employment law cases. Call 415-692-0462 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.