Life happens sometimes, and you may need to take time off from work. If these reasons are to care for a family member, your own health reasons, or the birth or adoption of a child, know that your employer cannot retaliate against you. If the company does retaliate, harass or discriminate against you for your leave, you could have grounds to take legal action. 

Workers in California are protected by a number of state and federal laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Family Rights Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. All of these acts work to protect your rights as an employee. 

At Bryant Whitten, LLP, our focus is on helping employees to understand these rights, and then taking action against companies when there is reason to believe these rights are being — or have been — violated. 

For employees, this means that an employer cannot threaten to fire or demote an employee for taking protected leave. In fact, under the FMLA, an employee has the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the following situations:

  • To care for a sick or injured child
  • To care for a sick or injured spouse
  • To recuperate from a personal and serious health condition
  • After having a baby
  • After the adoption of a child

In all of these situations, an employer does not have the right to dictate when someone can take leave, nor can an employer harass or demote someone for taking leave.

To learn more about your rights, visit our page on FMLA rights.