In California, employees who take medical leave are protected from retaliation by their employers. If you believe you have been retaliated against after taking medical leave, you may have a claim under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA),
You may also have a claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Furthermore, you may also have a claim under state workers’ compensation laws if you have been retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking leave.
We understand the complex legal issues involved in these cases, and we have a proven track record of success in obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients. If you believe you have been retaliated against for taking medical leave, we are here to help.
Call YMS today at (310) 499-0140 to arrange a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles medical leave retaliation lawyer.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been The Victim Of Medical Leave Retaliation In California?
If you believe that you have been the victim of medical leave retaliation in California, there are several steps you can take:
- Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights under California law, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
- Gather Evidence: Gather any evidence that supports your claim of retaliation. This includes documentation of your medical leave, any correspondences with your employer related to your leave, and any evidence of retaliation such as changes in your job duties, hours, pay, or working conditions.
- Contact an Attorney: Contact an experienced employment law attorney who specializes in medical leave retaliation cases in California. They can help you evaluate your situation and advise you on your legal options.
- File a Complaint with the Appropriate Agency: You may be eligible to file a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency. Your attorney can help you with this process.
Medical Leave Laws in California
Several laws in California provide employees with protected medical leave:
California Paid Sick Leave (PSL)
Under California law, most employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, and they can use accrued sick leave for illness, preventive care, or care of a family member. Alternatively, employers may provide a lump sum of at least 24 hours of paid sick leave at the beginning of each calendar year, anniversary date, or 12-month period.
California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
Under CFRA, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for certain qualifying reasons, including the employee’s own serious health condition, the serious health condition of a family member, or the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. To be eligible, employees must work for an employer with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius and have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period.
Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
Eligible employees can take up to four months of unpaid PDL for pregnancy-related disabilities. It applies to employers with five or more employees and covers employees who are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. PDL may be taken before or after childbirth.
California Paid Family Leave (PFL)
PFL is a state program that provides partial wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off work to bond with a new child or care for a seriously ill family member. It does not provide job protection but offers income replacement. Employees may receive up to eight weeks of benefits within a 12-month period.
California Workers’ Compensation
Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses on the job. Benefits are available regardless of who was at fault, including temporary or permanent disability benefits.
What is Required to Make a Claim For Medical Leave Retaliation
To make a claim for medical leave retaliation under the CFRA, you must have taken leave for your own serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to bond with a new child. You must also have been eligible for CFRA leave, meaning you worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.
To make a claim under the FEHA, you must have taken leave as a reasonable accommodation for a disability or medical condition. You must also have a qualifying disability or medical condition under the FEHA and your employer must have been aware of your need for the accommodation.
To make a claim under the FMLA, you must file a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division within two years of the retaliation. For claims under the ADA, you must file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state equivalent agency. This charge must generally be filed within 180 days of the alleged retaliation.
Recoverable Damages for Medical Leave Retaliation Claims in Los Angeles
The recoverable damages can vary depending on the specific circumstances and applicable laws. However, here are some common types of damages that may be available in Los Angeles medical leave retaliation claims:
- Lost Wages: This includes the wages or income you would have earned during the period of retaliation. It may cover the actual time missed from work or any reduction in hours or pay as a result of the retaliation.
- Reinstatement or Front Pay: If you were terminated or not reinstated after taking medical leave, you can seek reinstatement to your former position or, if that is not feasible, front pay instead. Front pay is an award of future wages you would have earned if not for the retaliation.
- Compensatory Damages: These damages are intended to compensate you for any emotional distress, pain, suffering, or inconvenience caused by the retaliation. For example, any psychological impact, such as anxiety, stress, or other harm suffered due to your employer’s actions.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if an employer’s actions were particularly egregious or willful. This type of compensation is meant to punish the employer and deter similar conduct in the future.
- Attorneys’ Fees and Costs: If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in pursuing the legal action.
The availability of these damages and the value of your claim can vary depending on the specific circumstances. A medical leave retaliation lawyer can assess your case and give you an estimate of its worth.
Contact Our Los Angeles Medical Leave Retaliation Lawyers Today
If you believe you have been retaliated against for taking medical leave, you should speak with an experienced Los Angeles medical leave retaliation lawyer from our law firm. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of filing a claim or lawsuit if necessary.
It is important to act quickly, as there are strict time limits for filing these types of claims. So, call Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani today at (310) 499-0140 or visit our contact page to arrange a free and confidential case evaluation.