The below content should be reviewed in conjunction with the in-depth federal coverage of this topic provided above.
Author: Daniel J. Aguilar, Fisher & Phillips LLP
- California has several state-specific leave requirements. Therefore, leaves of absence in California can be extremely complicated, due to the interplay between federal and state laws, and intersecting requirements and obligations. See Leaves of Absence - California.
- In light of United States v. Windsor, all federal laws that apply to married people generally must apply equally to same-sex spouses, if the same-sex spouses live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal (such as California). See Same-Sex Marriages and Employee Leave After DOMA.
- The California Family Rights Act has the same eligibility requirements and provides leave that, for the most part, tracks and runs concurrently with FMLA. However, there are some very important differences. See The California Family Rights Act.
- Female employees are entitled to up to four calendar months (17 and one-third weeks, not 16 weeks) of job-protected leave for disabilities relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. See Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).
- California provides six weeks of benefits for employees who take time off to care for a family member or to bond with a new child. See Paid Family Leave.
- Employers providing paid sick leave must permit employees to use a portion of the leave to care for certain family members. See Kin Care Leave.
- Employers who employ 25 or more employees at the same location are required to provide up to 40 hours of leave each year to a parent, grandparent or guardian of a pupil to participate in activities at the child's school, including a day care facility. See Family-School Partnership Leave.
- All employers must allow a parent or guardian of a pupil to appear at the school when the school requires the appearance and has given advance notice. See School-Required Leave.
- Employers must provide employees who are organ or bone marrow donors with a job-protected paid leave of absence. See Leave for Organ and Bone Marrow Donors.
- Employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault are entitled to unpaid leave to obtain relief or attempt to obtain relief. See Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and Crime Victims' Leave.
- Employees who do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote in a statewide election may take off enough time to vote. See Election/Voting Leave.
- California employers may not terminate or discriminate against employees for taking time off to serve, as required by law, on a jury or for appearing in court in compliance with a subpoena. See Jury Duty and Appearance as a Witness.
- Volunteer firefighters are permitted to take time off to perform emergency duty. See Volunteer Firefighters Leave; Future Developments.
- San Francisco mandates paid sick leave for eligible employees working in San Francisco. See San Francisco Paid Sick Leave.
- Employees who are not able to work because of an industrial injury are entitled to benefits and leave. See Industrial Injury Leave.
- California law provides employees with similar rights and responsibilities as those under USERRA. See Military Leave.
- Most employers are required to provide eligible employees with an unpaid Civil Air Patrol leave of absence. See Civil Air Patrol Leave.
- Most employers are required to accommodate employees who reveal a literacy problem and request assistance to enroll in an education program. See Literacy Leave.
- Employees may also be entitled to a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation for a disability or a religious need. See Disability-Related or Religious Leave.
- Employers must reasonably accommodate employees by providing unpaid time off to any employee who voluntarily enters and participates in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. See Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Leave.
- Many employers provide other types of leave that are not required by law. See Company-Provided Leave.
- Effective January 1, 2014, legal protections for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault will expand to cover victims of stalking. Also effective January 1, 2014, employers must allow an employee who is a crime victim or whose spouse, parent, child, sibling, or guardian is a crime victim, to take time off work to appear in court for any proceeding in which the right of the victim is at issue. See Future Developments.