FMLA: California

FMLA requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Michelle Barrett Falconer and Natasha L. DeCourcy, Littler Mendelson, PC


  • In addition to being covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave laws may provide employees with additional rights and benefits. See Family and Medical Leave in California.
  • While the CFRA and the FMLA parallel each other to a large degree, California employers must look at both laws when making any family and medical leave decisions. See Covered Employers Under the CFRA.
  • In order to be eligible for leave under the CFRA, employees must fulfill the eligibility requirements. See Employee Eligibility Under the CFRA.
  • Employees in California may take up to 12 workweeks in a 12-month period for certain qualifying reasons. See Purposes and Length of Leave.
  • California employers should select one of four methods for measuring the 12-month period in which 12 workweeks of family and medical leave may be taken. See Measuring the 12 Month Period Under the CFRA.
  • For CFRA leave an employee's certification issued by a health care provider of an employee's spouse (including a same-sex spouse), registered domestic partner, child, or parent with a serious health condition will be sufficient if it includes certain delineated information. See Notice and Certification Requirements Under the CFRA.
  • All female employees, regardless of their length of service, who are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be granted a leave for a reasonable period not to exceed four calendar months (17.33 weeks) by employers with five or more employees. See Employees Qualified for Pregnancy Disability Leave.
  • An employee affected by pregnancy may be entitled to temporarily transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position for the duration of her pregnancy or to receive another reasonable accommodation if certain criteria are met. See Reasonable Accommodation for Pregnancy-Related Disabilities.
  • California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance program provides up to six weeks of paid family leave benefits every 12 months through California's state-run disability insurance program. See Paid Family Leave - California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) Program.
  • California employers must provide paid sick and safe time to employees. See Paid Sick and Safe Time.
  • Spouses of military service members may be entitled to take leave due to the deployment of the service member. See Family Military Leave.
  • Certain employers in San Francisco must provide flexible and predictable work arrangements upon request by an employee who is a caregiver for a child, a family member with a serious health condition or an older adult. Paid sick leave is also required in San Francisco. See San Francisco's Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance; San Francisco Paid Sick Leave.
  • Other major cities in California have also enacted paid sick leave ordinances, including Long Beach, San Diego, Oakland and Emeryville. See Local Ordinances.