There are times when a California employee needs to take a leave of absence from their job. In some cases, people risk their job in order to take this leave. However, there are times when a person’s job is protected during a leave. Under federal law, the Family Medical Leave Act can sometimes provide protection to certain employees when they need to take a leave for medical reasons. Similarly, under California state law, the California Family Rights Act protects employees who need to take medical leave.

The CFRA applies in four situations. People can take CFRA leave if they have a serious health issue, or if their spouse, parent or child has a serious health condition. People can also take leave under the CFRA after the birth, adoption or placement of a child from foster care.

However, the CFRA only applies to certain qualified employees, according to the California Department for Fair Employment and Housing. In order to qualify for leave under the CFRA the employer must have at least 50 employees — either full time or part time. The employee must have worked for the employer for more than 12 months and have at least 1,250 work hours in the year before the leave starts. The employee must also work where the employer has at least 50 employees in a 75 mile radius. The employee must also give appropriate notice — generally 30 days — to the employer before the leave is supposed to start in order to be eligible.

If the employee qualifies for protection under the CFRA, then the employee may take up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work during a 12 month period. This leave is in addition to any leave taken for pregnancy disability. During the leave, the employer must hold the employee’s job for the person.