If my boss willnot let me take a week of unpaid leave to bond with my child when she’s born, is that legal?

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If my boss willnot let me take a week of unpaid leave to bond with my child when she’s born, is that legal?

What are the labor laws regarding family leave time?

Asked on August 20, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am assuming that you mean the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which is a Federal Law, correct?  But there is also the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) that may apply here.  FMLA and CFRA are federal and state leave laws, respectively, that allow an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave from his or her job in a 12-month period to care for themselves or family members who are ill, or children who are unable to take care of themselves.  You couched this question as sort of paternity leave and not to take care of the baby.  Some employers do not allow paternity leave although taking the time unpaid seem reasonable to me. California also has a new program called the Paid Family Leave insurance program.  An FMLA eligible employee is an employee who has been employed by the employer for a least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours. The 12 months do not need to be consecutive. You are only an eligible employee if your employer employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the worksite. The California statute mirrors the Federal one.  If you qualify here seek some guidance in helping you establish your rights.  Good luck.


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