US Employee Leave Entitlements

Employee leave entitlements in the US are governed by a variety and combination of laws at the Federal level. As individual states have their own versions of these laws, the situation becomes even more complex. Among the 50 states however, it is California that has some of the strongest, pro-worker leave entitlement legislation.

Given below are the various Federal and California state laws that deal with employee leave entitlements and have leave provisions included in them.

Federal Laws

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA is a US Federal Act and American labor law that requires covered employers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA details very specific criteria for eligible employers and employees.

Under the FMLA, serious health conditions can include inpatient care, long term illnesses and pregnancy among others. A qualifying event as defined by the FMLA may include a serious health condition suffered by the employee or an immediate family member, adoption and care of a child and more. The FMLA provides multiple benefits to both the employer and employee.

Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation is the largest and oldest insurance program instituted by the US government. Besides stipulating that employers provide medical care and benefits for employees who are injured or become ill in the workplace, the Act also has leave provisions which eligible employees can avail.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA protects the rights of US citizens with disabilities. It eliminates the barriers to their active participation in different aspects of working and living in America. The Act has leave provisions for employees with disabilities.

California State Laws

California has a number of state laws that provide multiple leave benefits to eligible employees:

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) was established to ensure that eligible employees who have worked for at least a period of 1250 hours were able to take leave for specific reasons. The CFRA provides benefits to not just eligible employees but covered employers as well. The Act has very specific criteria for calculating leave as well as duration and notification requirements. According to the CFRA, a serious health condition may include an injury or illness to not just the employee, but a spouse, child or parent as well.

Paid Family Leave Program (PFL)

Workers in California who contribute to State Disability Insurance coverage from their pay are eligible for the Paid Family Leave (PFL) program . Eligible employees can take time off from work for specific reasons and avail of PFL benefits as described in the PFL rules.

FEHA Pregnancy Disability Leave

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California employers are obliged to provide up to four months disability leave for a woman who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

ComplianceOnline Training on HR Compliance

When FMLA ends and ADA begins. The FMLA/ADA Crossover: Coordination, Management, and Compliance Strategies
This 90-minute training will assist you in understanding the complex interaction between FMLA and ADA (AA) as it relates to intermittent leave requests with an underlying accommodation.

3-hr Virtual Seminar - Boot Camp: Untangling the FMLA, ADAAA, GINA, and Workers Compensation Laws
This 3-hr training will show how you can deal with an employee who suffers from an on the job injury and his/her leave requirements trigger rights under the FMLA and the newly amended ADAAA.

Managing Employee Absenteeism and Tardiness
This HR compliance training will help you sort out the dos and don’ts of managing absenteeism and tardiness as per federal and state laws.

Pregnancy in the Workplace: Strategies to Protect Your Organization from Pregnancy Discrimination Claims
This Pregnancy Discrimination claims related training will provide essential strategies for ensuring that those rights are observed while at the same time allowing for the smooth operation of your organization.

California Wage and Hour Compliance: Payroll Unique to the Golden State!
This 90 minute California Wage and Hour Compliance training will help you understand the complexities surrounding California Wage and Hour Law Compliance and how it affects the function of any payroll department or company that has employees in California.

FLSA Pitfall to Avoid - Overtime and Wage Compliance The FLSA wage compliance webinar will discuss the scope of FLSA related to wage compliance and discuss about how to prepare for a wage inspection by learning how to calculate amount of money to pay to employee, when to pay overtime, how to know exempted employees for minimum wage requirements and the FLSA pitfalls to avoid.