17 Jul 2013
An employee may also take time off work, without fear of losing their job, for:
1. Time Off For Honorable Activities –Lab. Code §§ 230.3-.4; 1501-1507. Employers in California are required to allow employees to take unpaid leaves of absence to serve as volunteer firefighters, reserve peace officers, emergency rescue personnel, or as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Any employer who discriminates against an employee for taking time allowed under the law is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, and the affected employee is entitled to reinstatement, lost wages, and benefits.
2. Time Off For Donating Organs or Bone Marrow- Lab. Code §§ 1508-1513. Employees are permitted to take paid leaves of absence to donate an organ or bone marrow. If you work at an establishment that employs 15 or more employees, and have worked there for at least 90 days, you are entitled to take up to 5 business days of paid leave during any one-year period to donate bone marrow, and up to 30 business days of paid leave during any one-year period to donate an organ.
You may, however, be required to use up to two weeks of paid sick leave or vacation time accrued. Upon return from a leave under these provisions, you are entitled to reinstatement in the same or a comparable position of employment.
3. Time Off to Assist in a Classroom– Lab. Code § 230.8. If you are a parent, guardian, or a custodial grandparent and work for an employer that has 25 employees or more you are permitted to take unpaid time off (or use vacation/personal leave) up to 8 hours per month and 40 hours per school year to participate in your child’s school or day care activities. The penalty for violating this provision is stiff — affected employees can obtain reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, as well as a civil penalty of three times the lost wages and benefits.
4. Time Off For Pregnancy – In California, there may be no cap to the amount of leave an employee can take in connection with her pregnancy and childbirth. A recent decision by a California Court of Appeal makes clear that the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), which allows for up to four months leave for pregnancy-related disability, “augments rather than supplants” other disability leave provisions set forth in the Fair Housing and Employment Act (“FEHA”), as well as leave to bond with a new child under the CFRA. This means that an employee may be entitled to take up to four months leave under PDLL, up to an additional 12-weeks of leave under CFRA, and any additional leave as a reasonable accommodation under FEHA if the employee is still disabled after exhausting PDLL.
5. Time Off For Addicts And Those Who Need Help Reading – Lab. Code §§ 1025-26; 1041. Employers are also obligated to allow employees to take unpaid leave as a “reasonable accommodation” to participate in alcohol or drug rehabilitation programs, or adult literacy programs if they employ 25 or more employees. The employer must also take reasonable steps to safeguard the privacy of an employee who has informed the employer about enrolling in such a program.