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California Family Rights Act

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is Californiaís law allowing new parents to take up to 12 weeks of leave from work to bond with their newborn child.  Like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the federal law that lets new parents take leave from work, there are a variety of rules that apply to who can take leave and when.

Like the federal law, to qualify for leave under the California Family Rights Act, you must have worked for your employer for at least one year and you must have worked at least 1250 hours in the last 12 months. 

In addition, like the federal law, only employers with at least 50 employees are required to provide parents with this leave.

What makes this law different than federal law?  In California, new mothers may be able to take both CFRA leave and leave for any disability while they are pregnant under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL).  This is different than federal law.  Under federal law, any leave taken for a pregnancy related disability is part of FMLA.  This means that new mothers can only take 12 weeks of leave whether this leave is for a serious medical condition during their pregnancy or to bond with their newborn baby.

Under California law, some mothers can take up to 7 months of leave.  Four months of this leave may qualify as pregnancy disability leave and 12 weeks as leave to bond with your child under the California Family Rights Act.  Each type of leave has different requirements.  Some California moms will only qualify for one type of leave, others will qualify for both, and some may not qualify for either. 

It is important that you understand what you are entitled to and what type of leave you are taking when you take it.  While your employer is required to give you notice of the leaves you may be entitled to, many employers donít fully understand the intricacies of leave related to pregnancy.  Therefore, it is in your best interest to fully educate yourself to ensure that you receive all of the leave you are entitled to.

For more information on the California Family Rights and other leave time available to pregnant women and parents, visit LAPregnancy's sponsor today at or call Attorney Sarah B. Schlehr directly at (310) 492-5757.

This Belly Scoop has been sponsored by Sara Schlehr, The Pregnancy Lawyer for you!


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Sarah Schlehr, your pregnancy lawyer






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