Protecting Family Leave Rights Under the FMLA, FEHA and CFRA in California

Several state and federal laws protect employees from adverse employer action related to medical leave, family leave and time off for pregnancy and maternity. If you encounter trouble in taking advantage of your protected rights to family or medical leave, contact an employment law attorney at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik for a free consultation.

We represent clients all over California on the full range of employment law claims, from wage and hour violations to workplace discrimination. Our lawyers and staff are fully committed to protecting employee interests and the right to fair treatment at work.


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The main tools at our disposal for protecting the right to family and medical leave are the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). An additional state statute, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protects employees from discrimination or adverse employer action motivated by the employee’s use of a right protected under the other laws.

If you have been on the job full-time for at least a year, you have the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to cover any of a number of personal or family needs:


  • Personal illness or surgery
  • Family member’s illness or surgery
  • Physical therapy or convalescence
  • Pregnancy or maternity
  • Adoption

Some workers encounter problems with getting the company to agree to a period of protected leave, but it’s at least as common to run into trouble when you’re ready to return to work. Reassignments, transfers or changes in job description are often thinly veiled attempts to get you to quit. Sometimes your employer will save you the trouble and find an excuse not to let you back.

Our lawyers can help you recover damages from employers who interfere with the family leave rights of their employees all over California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. To learn more about our ability to protect your rights under state or federal law, contact the California Family Rights Act attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.