Protecting your rights in the workplace.

Retaliation for Taking a Leave of Absence

Taking a leave of absence is a protected right for employees in California. Workers are allowed time off for various reasons, such as medical issues, family responsibilities, or military service. However, concerns about potential retaliation for taking a leave can deter employees from exercising this right.

Leave of Absence Protections in California

California recognizes various types of leaves of absence, including but not limited to:

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family or medical reasons.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Similar to FMLA, CFRA allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave for family or medical reasons.

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Offers eligible employees partial wage replacement benefits for up to eight weeks when taking time off to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member.

California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)

Grants pregnant employees up to four months of job-protected leave for pregnancy-related disabilities.

Military Leave

Provides job-protected leave for eligible employees called to active military duty.

Retaliation Protections

California law extends its protection beyond time off and provides job security and freedom from adverse consequences upon returning to work. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who take these protected leaves, and workers should feel entitled to time off without fear of negative repercussions. If an employee faces retaliation, they have legal avenues to file complaints with the California Labor Commissioner or pursue a lawsuit to safeguard their rights and seek appropriate remedies.

What Retaliation for Taking a Leave of Absence Can Look Like

Retaliation for taking a leave of absence in the workplace can manifest in various ways, impacting the affected employee both professionally and personally. This could involve subtle or overt forms of mistreatment, such as unjustified negative evaluations, exclusion from important projects or opportunities, sudden changes in job responsibilities, or the denial of promotions or salary increases. In more severe cases, retaliation may escalate to harassment, creating a hostile work environment for the returning employee. Additionally, the most extreme form of retaliation is wrongful termination, where an employer unjustly dismisses the employee due to their decision to take a protected leave.

Proving Retaliation

Proving retaliation involves establishing a causal connection between the leave of absence and adverse employment actions. Key steps include:

  • Documenting the Leave: Maintain records of the leave request, approval, and any communication related to the absence.
  • Documentation on Adverse Actions: Record any adverse employment actions taken after the return from leave, such as changes in job responsibilities or termination.
  • Witness Testimonies: Gather statements from colleagues or supervisors who may have witnessed retaliatory actions.
  • Consistent Performance: Demonstrate consistent job performance before and after the leave to counter any false claims of poor performance.

Speak to a Workplace Retaliation Attorney in Los Angeles Today

If you believe you have faced retaliation for taking a leave of absence, you have legal options and may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. Arrange a free consultation with a trusted Los Angeles Workplace Retaliation Lawyer today.