This series, beginning here, explores the top ten ways that employers deny employees their medical leave rights.
#4 – Failing To Provide Employees Information About Their Leave Rights
Employers have an obligation to inform employees about their leave rights. For example, an employer must “give its employees reasonable advance notice of employees’ [Fair Employment and Housing Act] rights and obligations regarding pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions,” including by posting a notice of leave rights in a conspicuous location, including it in a handbook or distributing it to employees separately, and giving a copy to the employee “as soon as practicable after the employee tells the employer of her pregnancy or sooner if the employee inquires about reasonable accommodation, transfer, or pregnancy disability leaves.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11049, subd. (a), (d).)
Similarly, “[e]very employer covered by the [California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”)] is required to post and keep posted on its premises, in conspicuous places where employees are employed, a notice explaining the Act’s provisions and providing information concerning the procedures for filing complaints of violations of the Act with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11095.)
If the employer fails to provide an employee reasonable advance notice of their leave rights under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, such failure “shall preclude the employer from taking any adverse action against the employee, including denying reasonable accommodation, transfer or pregnancy disability leave, for failing to furnish the employer with adequate advance notice of a need for reasonable accommodation, transfer, or pregnancy disability leave.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, § 11049(c)(2).)
Moore v. Regents of the University of California (2016) 248 Cal.App.4th 216, 252-53, has helpful language regarding the consequences for an employer that fails to notify an employee of her leave rights: “[S]ummary adjudication of an interference claim under CFRA may not be appropriate where, as here, the record fails to establish—as a matter of law—that the employer satisfied a threshold requirement of its obligations to an employee under CFRA, ” including by giving notice of an employee’s leave rights.
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To read about the next way that employers deny employees their leave rights, click here: #5 – Failing To Treat A Request For Leave As Protected.
For more on employer notice obligations, click here.
This series was adapted from Ramit Mizrahi’s article in The Advocate Magazine, “Ten Ways That Employers Deny Employees Their Medical Leave Rights (June 2017).
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