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Family leave programs for California workers

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2020 | Employment Defense For Employers |

Employers in California want to ensure they remain abreast of all laws and programs relating to their employees’ rights and the environment in which their employees work. Providing a positive culture benefits both employees and employers in the end. 

Many people experience family situations that require them to take time away from their jobs. In California, there are multiple programs or laws that may be used for this purpose. 

Unpaid family leave legislation 

At the federal level, the United States Department of Labor indicates that employees may request up to 12 weeks of time off from work in a 12-month period under the Family and Medical Leave Act. When an employee takes leave under the FMLA, the employer does not pay their salary or wages. The employer does, however, protect and preserve the employee’s job. 

The State of California Employment Development Department explains that workers in the state may also elect to take unpaid leave under the California Family Rights Act. As with the FMLA, this program allows for up to 12 weeks of leave to be taken in a 12-month period. 

Paid family leave legislation 

In addition to unpaid leave options, some employees in California may qualify for paid leave under the California Paid Family Leave act. The PFL provides between 60% and 80% of a worker’s wages during the leave period but does not guarantee any protection for the worker’s job during the leave. An employer may require that an employee requesting leave utilize both the PFL and one of the unpaid programs, either the FMLA or CFRA, simultaneously. 


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