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Los Angeles California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Lawyer

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You work hard to perform well at your job, but there are understandably more important things in life. Those other things are a priority, and sometimes something so significant happens in those areas of life that you need to step away from all the time that work can take up. The California Family Rights Act is a piece of legislation that is meant to protect your job when you need to handle those things. However, it’s a fairly new act, and it’s a protection that employers don’t always respect. It’s important that you are aware of your rights under this act, and if you think yours might have been violated, then you should seek the help of someone who has significant experience with employment law, like Shirazi Law Firm, PC.

CFRA Leave

The California Family Rights Act gives qualifying employees a right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in certain circumstances. These 12 weeks need not necessarily be taken consecutively and can be taken at any point during a 12-month period. Your employer is required to give you back your old job, or one nearly identical to it, when you return from leave. The purpose of the leave may be to:

  • Bond with a child who was born
  • Bond with an adopted child
  • Bond with a foster child
  • Care for a serious health condition you have

Additionally, the leave may be for the purpose of caring for a family member with a serious condition. Qualifying family members include:

  • Your spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Your children or the children of your domestic partner
  • Siblings
  • Parents or parents-in-law
  • Grandparents or grandchildren
  • A designated person either related by blood or whose relationship with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship

Under California law, to qualify as a “serious health condition,” an illness, physical condition, or mental condition must require:

  • A period of incapacity needing at least three consecutive days away from work or school
  • In-patient care leading to a period of incapacity
  • Ongoing treatment for an incurable condition
  • Restorative plastic surgery or dental surgery following an accident (elective surgery is not covered)

Lastly, the act grants leave for military-related exigencies, including:

  • Short-notice deployment
  • Childcare, school, financial, or legal arrangements
  • Military activities or events
  • Counseling
  • Other events or activities that the employer and employee may agree to

CFRA Qualifications

Employees protected by the act must meet a few qualifications:

  • Currently work for a public institution or a private employer with five or more employees
  • Have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, and
  • Have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months just prior to leave

But, if you do not meet the last two qualifications, you may still be protected by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and/or Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”).

CFRA Violations

You are protected from any kind of retaliation from your employer. If you experience any of the following, contact Shirazi Law Firm, PC, for help:

  • Failing to honor a qualifying request for leave
  • Discrimination or harassment for having requested or taken leave
  • Failure to reinstate you to your old job or a nearly identical position
  • Wrongful termination


Q: What Counts as a “Qualifying Exigency” for Military-Related Leave?

A: There is some flexibility with this particular provision of the California Family Rights Act. While there are some things that are specifically protected, you and your employer can agree on other possible exigencies. Those that are protected under the act include:

  • Short-notice deployment
  • Events and activities
  • Counseling
  • Childcare arrangements
  • School activity arrangements
  • Financial arrangements
  • Legal arrangements

Q: Is My Job Protected While on CFRA Leave?

A: Generally, you are entitled to protection for your job under CFRA leave. Even if it’s not your exact position, you should receive a nearly identical position when you return to work. However, if you were to have gotten the leave fraudulently, then you are not necessarily entitled to a position when you return to work. The only other possible exception is if you would have been let go even if you hadn’t taken the leave. For instance, an obvious case would be if your employer went out of business during that period. It could also be something like your whole department being shuttered.

Q: What Do I Do If My Rights Under the CFRA Have Been Violated?

A: If you’ve faced some sort of retaliation for taking or requesting CFRA leave, you do have recourse. The same is true if you’ve been wrongfully denied leave. Contact an experienced employment lawyer immediately.

Q: Who Has CFRA Rights?

A: There are two categories of entities subject to the California Family Rights Act. One includes political or civil institutions, regardless of the number of employees that are working for them. The second involves private employers of five or more employees that engage in any business in California. The employees also must meet qualifications. They need to have worked for the employer for at least 12 months prior to starting a leave. Additionally, the employee must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours during the 12 months just prior to starting the leave.

Get Help Defending Your CFRA Rights

Some employers may not even be aware of the protections and leave time that the CFRA offers. If you think your CFRA rights have been violated, then you may be due some restitution. However, the process of getting that restitution can often be complex and not very intuitive. Working with experienced legal representation, like at Shirazi Law Firm, PC, will likely get you the best results. Contact us if you are ready for someone to help stand up for your rights.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“I cannot recommend Mr. Shirazi enough! I was wrongfully terminated from my long term job. I didn’t know where to turn and found Mr. Shirazi. He took the time to talk to me for an hour explaining what legal rights I had. Upon hiring Mr. shirazi he kept me up to date on every step and was honest and upfront with me. He worked miracles and got me a great settlement. Mr Shirazi handles only employment cases and his expertise was invaluable to my case. if you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, Mr. Shirazi is the one to call“

Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnancy Medical Leave
Providing Reasonable Accomodation
Family Medical Leave
Medical Leave

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

“Emanuel Shirazi went above and beyond on my case. My employer treated me so unfairly and I felt like I had no where to turn. I met with Emanuel and he told me: I’ve got your back. This guy is a pit bull who never stops fighting for his clients. So glad he was on my side and not vice versa. Trust me, Emanuel won’t let you down“



Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.