October 30, 2015 - According to the Family & Medical Leave Act, commonly referred to as FMLA, as well as the California Family Rights Act (or CFRA), any employer that provides employment to over fifty individuals within a 75 mile radius is subject to minimum unpaid family leave requirements. Specifically, after 1+ years of employment, employees must be allowed to access up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave if they or their immediate family members experience a serious medical condition.
According to FMLA and CFRA regulations:
- California employees DO NOT need to specify to their employer that they need FMLA or CFRA family leave.
- California employees DO need to notify their employer of a serious health or medical condition that could require inpatient care or multiple doctor’s visits or that could result in the incapacitation of the employee for 3+ days.
- California employers MAY request additional information.
- California employers MAY request a doctor’s certificate in support of the condition and indicating the severity of the issue as well as an estimated duration of the condition, treatment and/or recovery. This request must be made in writing.
- California employers MAY request a second opinion as long as they are willing to cover the costs of obtaining one as well as specify a physician of their choosing.
Conditions that Could Fall Under FMLA and CFRA Mandates:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- And many more chronic conditions…
Such chronic conditions could require that employees take intermittent or sporadic medical absences. If the employee’s doctor provides certification that they need intermittent leave as a result of a chronic condition, FMLA guidelines limit the employer to recertification requests no more frequent than every 30 days. Recertification may be requested by California employers in order to verify an employee’s need for medical leave according o FMLA or CFRA mandates, but employee privacy is protected by law prohibiting the employer from requesting information regarding diagnosis, treatment or other medical facts pertinent to their employee’s condition.
If you need assistance with legal issues stemming from federal and California state law regarding unpaid family leave, contact the southern California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.