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Leave of Absence

Understanding Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is a critical provision in employment law that allows employees to temporarily step away from work while retaining certain job protections. It’s designed to address various life circumstances, such as medical issues, family responsibilities, military service, and more. There are different types of leave available, each serving a specific purpose.

Understanding leave of absence is pivotal for ensuring that you’re equipped with the knowledge to protect your rights and make informed decisions during pivotal life moments. At Shaumyan & Derbarseghian LLP, we recognize the significance of comprehending your options and legal protections when it comes to taking time away from work.

Types of Leaves of Absence

1. Medical Leave: Allows employees to take time off for their own medical conditions, including serious health issues and recovery after childbirth.

2. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within 12 months for qualified medical and family reasons, while protecting job security.

3. Maternity and Paternity Leave: Offers time off for new parents to care for and bond with their newborn or newly adopted child.

4. Disability Leave: Accommodates employees with temporary or permanent disabilities, ensuring they have the time they need to recover or seek treatment.

5. Military Leave: Protects the jobs of employees who need to fulfill military service obligations or assist family members in the armed forces.

6. Mandatory Leave: This may be required under certain circumstances, ensuring compliance with employment laws.

Your Protected Rights

All employees have the right to various types of protected family and medical leave under California and federal law.

Those rights include protections under:

  • The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • The Parent Leave Act
  • The Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The CFRA and the FMLA give employees the right to take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn biological child, a newly adopted child, a seriously ill family member or a serious illness of their own. These family and medical leave laws only apply if:

  • You have worked for your employer for at least (1) year;
  • You have worked for that employer for at least 1,250 hours in the past year; and
  • Your employer has at least fifty (50) employees working within seventy-five (75) miles of your work site.

Leave of Absence for Mothers

Maternity leave is a vital provision that acknowledges the significance of the time following childbirth. We’re here to help you understand your rights as a working mother:

  1. Maternity Leave: Maternity leave allows mothers to take time off to give birth, recover, and bond with their newborn. It’s a critical period for both the well-being of the mother and the early development of the child.
  2. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for qualified medical and family reasons, including childbirth and bonding with a newborn.
  3. Accommodations and Protections: In addition to job protection, you have the right to reasonable accommodations to make your transition back to work smoother. This can include flexible scheduling, lactation accommodations, and more.
  4. Voluntary Leave of Absence: This is an option for working mothers who may need additional time beyond what is legally mandated.

Health Insurance

A leave of absence, especially for medical reasons can impact insurance coverage. Some companies continue to provide health insurance coverage for employees on leave. Others may require the employee to make arrangements for maintaining coverage, such as through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).

Communication with the HR department or benefits administrator is often recommended to clarify any questions or concerns related to health insurance during a leave of absence.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

To request a leave of absence, it is important to follow a formal and professional process:

  • Begin by checking your company’s policies regarding leave requests to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements.
  • Once you have a clear understanding, provide a formal written request to your supervisor. Clearly state the reason for your leave, specifying the dates you plan to be absent and any relevant details.
  • Provide as much notice as possible, and include any supporting documentation, such as medical certificates or other relevant paperwork.
  • Express your willingness to discuss the matter further and make arrangements for handing over your responsibilities during your absence.
  • Remember to be respectful and maintain a professional tone throughout the request.

Leave of Absence Denied?

Our experienced attorneys at Shaumyan & Derbarseghian LLP is committed to ensuring that you receive the protections and accommodations you are entitled to during challenging times. We understand the importance of balancing work and personal needs, and we’re here to guide you through the intricacies of leave of absence laws. If you’re a working mother considering maternity leave, know that our team is here to provide the legal support you deserve. We’re dedicated to empowering working mothers, protecting your rights, and ensuring your journey into motherhood is marked by confidence and security. Your family’s well-being is our priority, and we’re here to stand by you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to fight a denied leave of absence.

Client Testimonials

Don’t just take our word for it – hear from our satisfied previous clients themselves. Their experiences are a testament to the dedication and expertise we bring to every case. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with those we serve, and their feedback reaffirms our work ethic and commitment.

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