Medical & Disability Leave Attorneys in Los Angeles
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No one plans to become disabled or sick. Unexpected medical issues can cause excruciating pain, physical suffering, and mental anguish as you struggle to make ends meet and provide for your family. Unfortunately, many employers make things worse by retaliating against employees who exercise their right to medical leaves or other accommodations. This hostility to and retaliation against sick, injured, and disabled workers is a tragic consequence of a profit-oriented corporate culture that views employees’ basic human needs as an unwarranted hassle. When this happens, your rights have been violated, and the only way to stop your employer’s cruel indifference is to stand up for yourself.
Fortunately, our compassionate medical and disability leave lawyers in Los Angeles are devoted to helping you seek justice for the loss of income and emotional distress that comes with facing retaliation while also dealing with some of life’s most stressful challenges. Employers are supposed to give you time to recuperate and boost your health, not demote you, harass you, or even terminate you. We can help you speak up and do our best to eliminate these biases in the workplace.
Contact us now at (213) 214-3757 so that our dedicated team of employment lawyers can answer any questions you have about medical and disability leave.
Laws Protecting California Employees
If you are facing a medical condition or illness, you should know that the law protects you. In California, there are numerous laws that provide a right to leave, job protection upon return to work, and protection from retaliation for taking leave.
These laws also provide protection for those acting as caregivers for a parent, child, or another close relative who is suffering from a medical condition. Such employees also need time off, although not for themselves directly, and these laws safeguard them from employers’ discrimination and retaliation.
Some of the critical California laws that provide a leave of absence for any employees seeking to heal and recover from their own illness, or help family and relatives with their rehabilitation, include:
- The federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
- The California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”).
- Local paid sick leave laws, such as the Los Angeles Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.
- The federal CARES Act, enacted to provide coronavirus-related leave in the wake of the current pandemic.
- The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”).
How Much Leave You Can Take from Work
The amount of leave to which you are entitled, and the medical conditions that qualify for protection, varies based on the law that establishes your right to leave. For instance, for eligible employees, the FMLA and CFRA provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which can be “intermittent” (taken periodically) or consecutive. The PDLL provides for up to four months of leave with payments through the State’s PDL program. The CARES Act provides for up to twelve weeks of partially-paid leave (though there are an unfortunate number of exemptions that prevent this law from helping workers as it should). These are just examples; because leave laws are complex, overlapping, and eligibility requirements vary greatly, we encourage you to reach out to guidance if you are struggling to make sense of your rights.
If you are disabled, on the other hand, you might require a longer period of leave from work, and you may also need to have accommodations for guidelines or restrictions given to you by your doctor. It is your employer’s duty to engage in a “good faith interactive process” and provide you with accommodations that do not pose an “undue burden” on their operations. “Reasonable accommodations” may include, depending on your job, things like additional unpaid leave, a modified work schedule, time off for doctor’s appointments, additional breaks (e.g., to check your blood sugar or to sit down), ergonomic equipment, a transfer, or remote work arrangements. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for requesting accommodations, whether or not your employer grants you accommodations. Although employers sometimes view employees who assert their rights as “demanding” or “high maintenance,” acting on this view is illegal. You have the right to request accommodations.
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