Employee Rights – Paid Family Leave
Taking leave or time off work to care for a sick or injured family member or to bond with a new baby is something we have probably faced ourselves or know someone who has. State and federal laws exist that protect employees from being fired for taking leave. In the past, the leave was always unpaid. Choosing between earning a living and being there to care for an aging parent or child is not a choice anyone should have to make. Thankfully, you don’t have to choose.
The California Paid Family Leave Act was passed ten years ago. That law established the first ever paid family leave “insurance” program and ensures all California employees the ability to take up to 6 weeks off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, or registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child (birth, foster or adoptive) and to receive partial wage replacement during that time.
Unfortunately, not many California employees are aware of their right to take paid family leave, even though employers are obligated to provide employees with
information informing them of employment rights.
If you would like to learn more about paid family leave in California, you can get excellent answers to your questions by calling:
Equal Rights Advocates: (800) 839-4372; and
Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center: (800) 880-8047.
The Employment Development Department (EDD) also has toll-free numbers that California employees can call to learn more about their employment rights (and assistance is available in a number of languages). You can also visit http://www.paidfamilyleave.org
If your questions are complex or you would prefer to speak directly with an employee rights attorney in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo, you can reach us directly at 805.845.9630.