Los Angeles, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Could you suit for me to laid off recently due to take absent family emergency for 3 weeks and lost my position in CA?

I lost a job by laid off due to loss my position that I have been taken absent for 3 weeks from my work because I asked the HR before I left as my mom was critical condition and passed away. Could you suit the company illegal of family absent leave law?

I worked since November 13, 2023 at the company and I was new, but I can not control my family emergency.please let me know.

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, employees may be eligible for job-protected leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These laws provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons, including caring for a parent with a serious health condition.

However, to be eligible for CFRA or FMLA leave, you must meet certain requirements:

1. Your employer must have at least 5 employees (for CFRA) or 50 employees (for FMLA) within a 75-mile radius of your worksite.

2. You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.

3. You must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before your leave.

Based on the information you provided, it seems that you started working for the company on November 13, 2023, and the current date is April 1, 2024. This means you have been employed for less than 12 months, which makes you ineligible for CFRA or FMLA leave.

However, it's still a good idea to discuss your situation with an employment law attorney. They can help you understand your rights and determine if there are any other legal protections that may apply to your case, such as a company policy or an employment contract that provides additional leave benefits.

If your employer terminated your employment due to your absence related to a family emergency, and no other leave laws or company policies apply, it may be difficult to pursue legal action against the company. Nonetheless, consulting with an attorney can help you explore your options and make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your length of service at your employer means you do not qualify for protection under the federal FMLA or the state CFRA. The length of your leave did not give you protection under any bereavement leave statute. If you worked for an employer of at least 5 employees, the Fair Employment and Housing Act may give you some protection if the leave you requested was clearly communicated to be based on your association with a close family member who was experiencing a disability and that the time of the leave would be reasonable limited, as opposed to open-ended. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

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