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Eligibility Under the FMLA in California

Guha Law July 14, 2021

As a worker in California, many unpredictable circumstances may arise when going about your daily life, like illness, disability or your child’s birth. Fortunately, the Family Medical Leave Act can support you during such times by ensuring that you get adequate leave and job reinstatement. Take a look at the requirements that would make you eligible for FMLA leave.

What Is the FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act is a law that protects workers in California when they are going through challenging situations like personal or family health issues and other conditions like pregnancy, adoption, foster care placement, etc. This law requires your employer to offer you a certain amount of leave and secure your job while you’re away from work tackling your personal or family matters.

What Qualifies You for FMLA?

The FMLA doesn’t protect every employee in California. There are certain conditions that you must meet to qualify. They include:

  • You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months. It doesn’t matter if it was consecutively or not.

  • For these 12 months of service, you are required to have at least worked for 1,250 hours. Time taken for any kind of leave as well as vacations and holidays are not considered when counting these hours.

  • If you are working for a private firm, it should have at least 50 employees working within a radius of 75 miles from the workstation. This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to people working for the state and federal governments.

What’s your entitlement?

If you are eligible for FMLA, you may receive leave of up to 60 workdays or 12 workweeks. Then, when you return, you should go back to the position you held before. If that job is no longer available, you should be offered another position with equal status and pay.

You can work closely with an attorney to see if you’re entitled to FMLA leave depending on your condition. In addition, California law allows you to extend this leave so that you need not worry about your job when going through a difficult time.