Leaves of Absence

The California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) guarantees qualified employees the right to request a leave of absence (medical leave) from their covered employer.  In order for an employee to be entitled to a leave of absence under CFRA, the employee must have a serious health condition; a serious health condition of a child, spouse, registered domestic partner, or parent; the birth of a child; or the adoption and placement of a child for foster care. The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) contains similar provisions and protections for employees, as well as a leave of absence necessary to care for an injured servicemember or veteran.


An employee must notify his or her employer of the need for a leave of absence. The notice may be either verbal or written. However, notice may not be necessary when employee’s behavior is unusual enough to notify the employer that the employee has a serious health condition.

At the conclusion of an FMLA or CFRA leave, an employer must reinstate an employee to the same or an equivalent job. Reinstatement must take place immediately once employee is able to perform his or her essential job duties. Additionally, California law (FEHA) and federal law (ADA) both require that employers provide reasonable accommodations to a returning employee, when necessary, so that he or she can work. Further, California law (FEHA) requires employers to accommodate disabled employees, which may include a  leave of absence. This means that employers who may not be covered by FMLA or CFRA may still be required to grant their qualified employees a leave of absence.

Lastly, an employer is prohibited from discriminating, retaliating, or discharging an employee  for taking FMLA/CFRA leave, or for opposing or complaining about violations of FMLA/CFRA. If you are terminated, discriminated, or retaliated against for an unlawful reason, you may be entitled to recover damages. Damages may include lost wages, future wage loss, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages. Additionally, some cases may require the employer to pay punitive damages to the employee if the employer’s action were intentional or if the employer acted maliciously.


Tumber Law Firm is based in San Francisco, California. Our attorneys represent clients in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. Tumber Law Firm protects clients from retaliation, discrimination, and harassment involving dismissal, demotion, or denial of accommodation based on age, race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, marital status, association, physical or mental disability, or other legally protected classifications. Additionally we represent employees if they have not been paid the proper wages including overtime or minimum wage, or those not given the proper meal and rest breaks. If you believe that your rights have been violated, CONTACT US to setup your free consultation to discuss this matter. We take cases on a contingency basis and collect no attorney fees unless we win your case.