Leave Benefits

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Employment Leave Benefit Lawyer in Woodland Hills

“Family leave is an important employment benefit that helps employees cope with challenging family health demands”

Can my employer deny me leave benefits?

Have you been terminated, demoted, disciplined, denied promotion or reinstatement to your job, gotten bad performance reviews or forced to quit and believe it was related to taking a leave of absence? Were you penalized under suspicious circumstances? Was it undeserved? Are you a good employee? If the answer is “yes,” then you should speak with an attorney right away.

At the Webb Law Firm, we understand how important your job is to you. If you were unjustly fired, you are probably worried, confused and wondering if you have any recourse? Someone has just stolen your dignity, self-esteem, confidence, joy, happiness, and quality of life. At our Woodland Hills, California law office, we will help you through this process.

What types of leave benefits do employees have?

State and Federal laws provide for employee “leave benefits”, without being penalized, for any of the following reasons:

  • Leave of Absence for Family Responsibilities

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law
  • Leave for Jury Duty
  • Leave taken to give Witness Testimony
  • Leave taken to Vote
  • Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Leave for Victims of Crimes

A violation of these Acts is a sufficient basis for a claim of wrongful termination (discharge) and retaliation in violation of public policy. Yet, every day, people are penalized illegally for using these employment benefits.

Leave Benefits for Family Responsibilities

A purpose for family leave benefits is to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and their families, and help them cope with challenging family health demands. An eligible employee under the family leave laws is entitled to "a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period" for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To care for a child, or other immediate family member of the employee with a serious health condition.
  • The employee's own serious health condition that makes the employee unable to work.

For example, Mr. Faust worked for a cement company when he got hurt at work. He presented his doctor’s report, which stated he was temporarily unable to work and requested leave to recover. Despite this, his employer refused to allow him to go home or take any time off. Both Faust’s doctor and attorney attempted to communicate directly with company officials on his behalf, but the company refused to communicate with any of Faust’s representatives. When Faust took his entitled leave anyway, he was immediately fired. The Cement Co. claimed they fired him for insubordination for failing to give proper notice before taking the leave of absence. Fortunately, Faust was able to prove this was false. This was the employers ugly tactic of “attacking the victim” to gain a perceived advantage against the employees rightful claims.

Employees may use any paid sick leave time for this purpose. "To care for" includes physical and psychological care. When an employee returns from leave, they are entitled to be reinstated by the employer to their same or an equivalent position.

California Pregnancy Disability Leave Benefits

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), an employer is required to give a female employee a reasonable amount of unpaid temporary leave, not to exceed 4 months, when she becomes disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Acts premise is that mothers should not be penalized for giving birth to a child.

The employee is allowed to use any accrued vacation leave during the temporary leave. At the conclusion of the temporary leave, she must be reinstated to the same or similar job.

The employer must make reasonable accommodations for her medical condition, including temporarily transferring her to a less strenuous or hazardous position, if she so requests, with the advice of her health care provider.

Leave for Jury Duty

Employers are responsible by law to provide leave for jury duty. Jury duty is the lifeblood of our justice system. Jury service is everyone’s responsibility, or it will not work.

An employer may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve his or her civic responsibility. If the employer penalizes an employee, legal action may be taken for reinstatement of their job and reimbursement for damages.

Leave taken for Witness Testimony

Employment benefits include taking time off to appear as a witness in court. Employers "may not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee" for "taking time off to appear in court to comply with a subpoena or other court order as a witness in any judicial proceeding." Cal. Labor Code § 230(b).

If the employer penalizes an employee for being a witness pursuant to a subpena legal action may be taken for reinstatement of their job back and reimbursement for damages.

For example in one case Mr. White worked at a large convenience store. He was a witness and appeared and testified at an unemployment compensation hearing, appealed by his employer. His testimony favored the fired employee. The next day when White returned to work he was fired. Employers cannot be allowed to corrupt our justice system in this manner.

Leave taken to Vote

The California Election Code §14000 requires employers to honor the needs of employees to take time off in order to vote in the event that there is insufficient time to vote outside of work hours. In particular, it provides:

  • If an employee does not have "sufficient time outside of working hours to vote at a statewide election, the voter may, without loss of pay, take off enough working time that, when added to the voting time available outside of working hours, will enable the voter to vote."
  • An employee cannot take more than two hours of leave for voting without loss of pay. The time "off for voting shall be only at the beginning or end of the regular working shift."
  • An employee may exercise the right to vote without fear of retaliation, or    discrimination from her employer.
Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence

Employers may not deny employees the benefit of leave when they are a victim of violence. They may not terminate or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who     is a victim of domestic violence or a victim of sexual assault for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to:

  • A restraining order,
  • Other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or his or her child.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, program, or rape crisis center as a result of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Obtain psychological counseling related to an experience of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future domestic violence or sexual assault, including temporary or permanent relocation.
Leave Benefits for Victims of other Crimes

The Crime Victims Employment Leave Act grants employees leave when victimized by violence. It prohibits employers from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee who is the victim of a violent or serious felony and who is absent from work to attend judicial proceedings related to the crime.

If you or someone you know has suffered some type of injustice at work, we want to help you and while doing so be a voice for positive change - it will help deter future misconduct. At the Webb Law Firm we can help you determine what course of legal action is best for you. The law provides that employees “shall be granted all relief necessary to make the employee whole.” Depending on your situation, your employer may owe you for lost wages, benefits, quality of life, mental suffering, litigation costs, attorney fees, and more depending on the unique circumstances of your case, which may include reinstatement.

At the Webb Law Firm we are Employment Law Experts with a winning track record of holding employers accountable for workplace violations and protecting working families. So let’s talk!

Contact Us for a Free Confidential Consultation

Whenever possible, we handle cases on a contingency fee basis, our assurance that we believe in you and your case. We are confident that we can successfully recover for your harm and if we don’t win you don’t have to pay us one penny for our attorney fees. We are committed against injustice by those in powerful positions and to holding them accountable for injury or harm to innocent victims.

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Tell us about your case - We are here to help!”