Monthly Archives: January 2014

For leaves of absence, be open minded!

LOA Chart

Employers can get into trouble in a lot of ways. An easy way to mess up is to “hide the ball” and not let employees know that they might be entitled to a protected leave of absence. It is important to remember that a protected leave of absence is usually just the right to take unpaid time off and then come back to work. It is generally not paid time off, and is generally not meant to be used for a trip to Aruba. Employers should be mindful of all the different types of protected leaves an employee could be eligible to take –and provide information about the protections. Do not wait until an employee uses magic words to ask for the time off (like, “I note that we have more than 50 employees, and I’ve worked here for over 1,250 hours this year, and over 12 months for you in total. . . I’d like to take protected time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act…”).
I have a short chart I use to remind myself of the leaves of absence that can come into play here in California. It is, of course, not intended to replace looking at the actual statute, or talking to your legal counsel! It is just meant to remind you that “there [may be] a protected leave for that!” So. . .click the link at the top of this post, print it out, scribble on it, keep it close at hand, train your managers to look out for situations where leave may be appropriate – in other words, Enjoy!