Can An Employee Be Terminated While On Medical Leave?

Updated: Jan 27

A Quick Legal Guide On Your FMLA Rights As A California Employee

Qualifying workers in California can take days off for various reasons, as opposed to national protected leaves. Only a few instances include pregnancy-related difficulties, the desire to donate an organ or bone marrow, the necessity to care for a sick family member, military leave, or any other medical or personal issues. Your employer violates the CFRA if they refuse to grant you paid or unpaid medical or sick leave. You'll need a skilled Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles to protect your employees' rights when this happens.


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What Involves California's Leave Of Absence Laws?

Under California's leave regulations, employees are protected against unfair discrimination, intimidation, or reprisal if they seek or take a protected leave of absence. Employees in California have the right to take time off work, and their bosses cannot penalize them for doing so.

In addition, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) ensures an employee's right to paid or unpaid leave in California.

The California Family Rights Act allows qualified workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for each year they work for the same employer. If your employer retaliated against you after you requested or took a medical leave of absence, you might have enough grounds to file a complaint.


If you've unfortunately experienced any unlawful actions in violation of your rights in California, get a referral to one of our pre-screened Employment Lawyers in Los Angeles.

What Are The Protected Leaves In California?

Employers must take into account their employees' interests. The laws in California were written with the employee's best interests in mind. As a result, California boasts some of the most liberal leave regulations in the country, ensuring that workers in the state are among the best protected in the country when it comes to taking time off.

The ordinary California boss would almost probably fall under any of these restrictions. Some of the state and federally mandated leaves available to qualified California employees are as follows:

  • The California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

  • Family And Medical Leave (FMLA)

  • The New Parent Leave Act

  • Military personnel are entitled to a service leave

  • Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Victims have the right to take a leave from work for recovery

  • Witness Protection and Jury Duty

  • Voting

  • Leave to donate organs and bone marrow

For more specific details about your case, contact an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles to better understand your legal options.

What Is Sick Leave or FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)?

FMLA leave is the most commonly filed of the protected leaves of absence in California. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employees to take unpaid leave to care for themselves or a family member, friend, or domestic partner who is ill.

Employees in California are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of sick leave for these purposes. However, when a company employs at least 50 people, it is required to follow the FMLA. If you believe your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act have been violated, seek legal advice from an experienced Los Angeles Employment Lawyer.

When Your FMLA Rights Are Violated

Workplace discrimination and retaliation are against the law. The most important feature is the assumption that California's leave regulations are "protected."

This ensures that after a California employer's maternity leave or other leave of absence ends, the employee must be rehired to their previous employment or a comparable position. After all, there's no use in taking a "leave of absence" if you won't be able to return to work after it's over.


Employers in California are forbidden from discriminating against workers who request or take a leave of absence, retaliating against them, or otherwise taking adverse employment action against them. All of the following can be considered unlawful discrimination or retribution against a worker who takes a safe leave of absence:

  1. Termination without cause

  2. Unjustified demotions