Leave of Absence Violations


We Represent Employees in Leave of Absence Violations Claims in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County

At the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our experienced California leave of absence violation lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and legal experience to help employees navigate their rights under federal law and state law. If you have any questions about the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law, we encourage you to contact our law firm. To set up your free, fully confidential initial consultation with a California employment law attorney at the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., please call us at (888) 883-6588

What is a Leave of Absence Violation?

A leave of absence from work is a period during which an employee temporarily takes time off from their position. A leave of absence should not be confused with paid time off (PTO), vacation time, or sick leave. For the purposes of employment law, a leave of absence is a different thing. It involves an employee taking a more prolonged absence. Most often to deal with a medical or family emergency. 

A leave of absence violation occurs when an employer violates an employee’s rights. There are laws in place that govern leave of absence cases. Employers in California have a legal obligation to comply with all applicable federal and state requirements. They may be held liable for their failure to do so. 

An Overview of State and Federal Law for Leave of Absences 

As noted previously, there are both federal laws and California laws in place for leave of absence. A worker in Orange County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino County who is preparing to take a leave of absence from their job should understand their rights. Here are the most important laws that govern leave of absence: 

  • Federal Law: The primary federal law that provides leave benefits to employees is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, an employee may be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a qualifying family emergency or medical emergency. Only employers with 50 or more employees are covered by the FMLA. 
  • State Law: California state law provides more comprehensive leave rights than federal law. To start, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is essentially the state-level version of the FMLA. It also grants qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for family and medical issues. The scope of the law has been expanded in recent years. It covers employers with five or more total employees. Another law, the California Paid Family Leave (PFL), also provides workers with access to paid leave benefits in certain circumstances. 

Note: Some employers have their own voluntary leave of absence policies. These voluntary policies may provide more generous benefits than are required by federal law or state law. Still, voluntary policies are just that—voluntary. Nonetheless, an employer may be liable for a violation of its own leave of absence if it breaches an employment contract or if it applies the policy in an unlawfully discriminatory manner, such as disproportionately denying leave based on race or sex.   

Some Examples of Leave of Absences Violations

Leave of absence cases are complicated. Violations of the law can come in many forms. A comprehensive investigation is required into allegations of wrongdoing by an employee. Some examples of conduct that could constitute a leave of absence violation include: 

  • Denial of Leave: An employer who attempts to exercise their right to take leave under the FMLA or the CFRA may run into an immediate barrier. An employer may try to deny them an opportunity to take leave at all. 
  • Not Allowed to Return After Leave: FMLA leave and CFRA leave are both job-protected. An employee must be allowed to return to their same position or a functionally similar position when their period of leave ends. If an employer denies them the opportunity to return—or makes them take a lesser position—that may constitute a leave of absence violation. 

You Have the Right to Report a Leave of Absence Violation

If you believe that your rights were violated under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), or the California Paid Family Leave (PFL), you have a right to raise a complaint. You can raise a complaint directly to your supervisor/HR department or you can file a formal legal complaint. Regardless, an employer should not punish you for doing so. 

As stated clearly by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation is an unlawful practice whereby an employer takes adverse action against an employee because that employee exercised their rights. Retaliation is a stand-alone employment law claim. An employer can be held liable for a violation. To learn more, consult with a California retaliation attorney. 

How California Employment Lawyer Joseph E. Richards Helps Clients

Employers must comply with all applicable laws regarding leaves of absence. When they fail to do so, it can put a serious burden on employees and families. If you were subject to a leave of absence violation, it is normal to have a lot of questions. Our founder attorney Joseph E. Richards helps workers navigate the claims process and get justice. When you reach out to our law office, you can connect with an Orange County & Riverside County leave of absence violation lawyer who can: 

  • Conduct a free, no-obligation review and assessment of your employment law claim.
  • Investigate our client’s case—gathering the relevant documents and records.
  • Take whatever action is needed to help our clients get the best outcome for their situation.  

Contact Our Orange County & Riverside County Employment Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our California employee rights attorneys have the professional skills and legal knowledge to handle federal and state leave of absence violations. We help clients get justice under the law. To set up your free, no-commitment initial consultation, please call us at (888) 883-6588. We provide employment law representation in Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County


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