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Basics of the Family Medical Leave Act in California

Having a family in California is something that many people want to have and therefore many couples have children every year. However, as everyone knows, it is only women who actually have the babies. While having a baby can be a very joyous occasion, babies also need a lot of attention when they are first born to ensure that they will thrive. The mothers also need time to recover especially if there were complications with the pregnancy or birth.

Therefore, many employers are required to give their employees maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Companies with at least 50 employees must allow new mothers at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of a child. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least one year though and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the birth of the child. After the 12 weeks employers must also give the mother her old position back or a similar position if it is not the same one with the same pay and benefits.

In addition to giving the person their job back, employers cannot discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under FMLA. When employees exercise their rights under FMLA it can be disruptive for employers though because losing an employee for 12 weeks can be difficult. So, in some situations the employer may try to replace the person or make their working conditions difficult when they return. This is a form of sex discrimination though and if employers do this they may be required to compensate the employee for their actions.

Employees in California have many protections under the law and one of them is that mothers can take off 12 weeks from their employment after giving birth. It is important that they are able to exercise these rights and employers who discriminate against them for doing so may be forced to compensate the employee for all the damages they actions cause. Experienced attorneys understand how important this time is to new mothers and may be able to help protect their rights.

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