Paid Family Leave in California: How Much Can Employees Receive? | Mann & Elias
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Paid Family Leave in California: How Much Can Employees Receive?

Understanding Your Benefits Per California State Laws

In 2004, California was the first state to offer paid family leave to its workers. The number of benefits has only increased since then, which is a great advantage for employees. CA workers can expect to see a partial wage replacement through two programs: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PDL). DI programs provide benefits for illnesses or injuries. PDL programs allow employees to care for a family member or bond with their newborn with ease.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to offer employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Other states have not yet considered offering paid family leave with that in mind. California has been and continues to make medical leave laws more generous and accessible for employees who might be concerned about losing their jobs or seeing an undesirable impact on income. Read on to learn more about your rights and when to reach out to a family medical leave lawyer in Los Angeles

What Happens to My Job When I Go on Paid Family Leave?

The first thing you might think about before you request time off is your employment status upon return. Like you, more than 20 million people have thought about the same thing based on a study by American Progress in 2017.

  • 21% relied on FMLA for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • 55% needed to tend to their medical conditions.
  • 73% had to care for a family member.

We understand that this is a big decision for you and your loved ones. Family leave is a legal opportunity that takes much consideration. Paid leave programs in California allow employees to collect benefits but do not offer job protection. Fortunately, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) makes up for where PDL fails.

Both protect your right to the same job or similar position upon your return. As an employee, the company cannot guarantee to get back the “exact” job you held before going on leave, according to the Department of Labor. If an employer does not allow you to return to work and denies your rights, you need a lawyer for FMLA violations in LA. In the past, both legal policies have only helped workers who work for businesses with 50 or more employees. For years, smaller organizations have not had the same advantages. Now they do, allowing people to take advantage of the paid leave program to an extent outside of FMLA.

Am I Eligible for Paid Family Leave in CA?

Paid leave programs in California are conducted by a State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. That means that the money used to support the program financially is getting withheld from employees’ paychecks as disability insurance. To qualify for paid family leave, you need to earn $300 or more (through withholding) during the past 12 months on the job. If you want to take precautionary measures and make sure that your job gets protected under the CFRA, an employment attorney in Los Angeles will disclose that you need to:

  • Prove the state of your employment for at least 12 months
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours (25 per week) during the last 12 months

The employer must verify your absence of employment was because of one of the following reasons:

  • To bond with a new child entering the family (naturally, through adoption or foster care).
  • To take care of a child, parent, in-law, spouse, or registered domestic partner with a life-threatening illness.
  • To care for a grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with varying medical conditions (as of Jan. 1st).

Impairments or changes in physical or mental conditions count as serious injuries. When an employer approves your request, it should be for the following reasons to qualify for protection:

  • At-home care or in-patient care within a hospital or related medical facility for full recovery
  • To continue treatments by a health care provider or physician

What Are My Benefits When It Comes to Paid Family Leave?

In California, eligible workers can expect to retrieve 60% to 70% of their wages for up to eight weeks. Throughout the pandemic, those on leave received an additional $1,300. Benefits make up 60% for employees earning high salaries and 70% for those with lower incomes. A workplace lawyer in LA can help you calculate your paid family leave benefit amounts if you are unsure about the process or fear that you might be at risk of wrongful termination. You can also think about whether you want to receive the benefits in a lump sum or throughout 12-months. Employers generally allow employees to use accrued vacation time and another form of paid time off to receive full pay.

Were you denied legal rights to which you’re entitled under California law to take family leave? If yes, reach out to one of our Los Angeles employment lawyers to discuss your legal options today.

Consult With an FMLA Attorney for More Information on FMLA Benefits In CA

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. We represent clients at every level of the state and federal court systems in lawsuits regarding discrimination,

wrongful termination, unpaid wages, and more. When your case is in our hands, we hope to minimize stress and concerns associated with work.

Workplace disputes and negotiations can be complicated and uncomfortable between an employee and employer. In many cases, an employer can retaliate, causing individuals to feel disadvantaged in the company. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. While there are thousands of lawyers to choose from, we believe our success rooted in:

  • 50+ years of trial experience
  • Excellent advocacy skills
  • Intense preparation and research
  • Quality care

Since our partnership began over 20 years ago, we have settled hundreds of claims, completed 100 jury and bench trials, and recovered more than $18 million in settlements. In the end, our goal is to understand what you need and achieve the best outcome for you by focusing on those needs. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email


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