Both the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provide eligible employees with the right to take time off work because of personal illness, family member illness, or the birth or adoption of child. Unfortunately, these rights are often violated and FMLA/CFRA issues are among the most frequently litigated employment law matters.

If you believe that you have been denied a leave of absence you were legally entitled to take, it is in your best interests to consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer. At the Law Office of Michael Hsueh, we handle only employment cases, representing employees whose rights have been violated. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay us nothing for our services until we recover compensation for you.


FMLA and CFRA both apply to employers with 50 or more employees, so if you work for an employer who has 49 employees, you will not be covered under these provisions. Additionally, individual employees must meet certain requirements to be eligible for a leave of absence under FMLA or CFRA, as stated by the California Department of General Services:

  • You must have worked for your employer for a minimum of 12 months before the date your leave of absence is to commence; and
  • You must have physically worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period before the date your leave is to begin. Vacation, annual leave, sick leave, personal leave, administrative time off, compensating time off, informal time off, and holidays may not be counted toward the 1,250 hours.

If you are entitled to an FMLA/CFRA leave of absence and you take it, the law prohibits retaliation by your employer. If you feel that you have been discriminated or retaliated against for taking FMLA/CFRA leave, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible.


As covered by the Department of General Services, there are three valid reasons for an employee to take an FMLA/CFRA leave of absence:

  • Birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child: This includes maternity and paternity leave but not childbirth or pregnancy-related disability. An employee who is disabled because of a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth is entitled to take 6 weeks to 4 months of Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL). FMLA/CFRA eligibility requirements do not apply to PDL, but time on PDL is deducted from the employee’s entitlement for FMLA leave. Under CFRA, employees are entitled to an additional 12 weeks of leave for bonding with a child.
  • Care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition: A spouse for FMLA/CFRA purposes is a husband or wife as recognized under state law. A child must be under the age of 18 years or, if older, incapable of self-care because of physical or mental disability. He or she must be a biological, foster, or stepchild or a legal ward, or the child of an employee standing “in loco parentis” – in place of or with the authority of a parent. A parent is a biological or adoptive parent or a person who stood “in loco parentis” to the employee in the employee’s childhood. Mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law do not qualify under FMLA/CFRA.
  • Employee unable to work because of a serious health condition: This includes illness, injury, impairment, and mental and physical health conditions. A serious health condition may involve incapacity or treatment in connection with a period of hospitalization; continuing treatment by a healthcare provider for more than 3 consecutive days; continuing treatment for prenatal care or a chronic or long-term health condition that is incurable or likely to result in more than 3 days’ incapacity if left untreated; dental or plastic surgery after an injury; or removal of cancerous growths.


Federal and state laws are in place to help provide better working conditions and to protect the rights of employees. If you believe that your employer has violated your rights under the law to family and medical leave, contact the Law Office of Michael Hsueh today for a free consultation! We will be happy to evaluate your case and assess the damages you may be entitled to claim. 

When you work with us, Attorney Michael Hsueh will handle your case personally with a case strategy tailored to your particular circumstances. He will give you his cell phone number and remain accessible to you for the duration. You can have confidence that your employment law matter is in good hands with the Law Office of Michael Hsueh.