FMLA in California is like no other state, due to the legislative supplementation of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). An in-depth explanation of the laws and their inter-relationship is available from California’s Department of General Services. But the most important point for any covered employer to realize about the Family Medical Leave Act and CFRA is that in the absence of legal counsel, if there ever appears to be confusion or a conflict between the laws, the simple and appropriate course of action is always to err in favor of the greatest benefit for the employee, especially regarding FMLA in California.

According to the Department of General Services, the most common mistakes that covered employers make regarding FMLA in California and the associated CFRA are:

1). Failure to notify an employee of their FMLA/CFRA rights, requirements and benefits (whether or not the employee requests it),

2). Failure prior to or within five days of the start of an employees absence to notify the employee that FMLA/CFRA leave will be counted towards their twelve workweeks entitlement,

3). Failure to grant leave to provide psychological comfort or physical care to a seriously ill child, parent, or spouse,

4). Asking for a “diagnosis” on the Medical Certification Form,

5). Taking disciplinary action against an employee with regard to an absence that qualifies under FMLA/CFRA guidelines,

6). Terminating an employee during or at the conclusion of a qualifying FMLA/CFRA leave.

7). Failure to reinstate an employee following a qualified leave to the same or an equivalent position.

8). Failure to request in writing or provide fifteen days to obtain a medical certification verifying the legitimacy of the leave requested.

FMLA in California is serious business, as recent judgments against non-compliant employers have resulted in six and even seven figure awards. And win or lose, the most recent price tag attached to FMLA/CFRA legal defense is $80,000. The U. S. Supreme Court’s, June 26, 2013 ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act now requires that all couples legally married and living in California be treated the same, regardless of the couple’s same or different sex. An employer’s misunderstanding or confusion with the laws is not a viable defense for FMLA in California.

The best defense for compliance laws with regard to CFRA or FMLA in California is a cost-effective, user-friendly and well-documented leave administration system. One of the most successful and popular are Qcera’s, cloud-based, LeaveSource™ software programs. Covered employers with fifty employees or well over fifty thousand, will find the ultimate in absence management solutions with Qcera. Compliance  with CFRA and FMLA in California is a click away. Click on the red button above to schedule a demonstration, or go to for more product information.

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