First of all, in February 2017, we achieved a $175,000.00 settlement for our client in regards to family medical leave. The client was a Finance Manager at an Automobile Dealership. She was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Family Rights Act and California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act.
In July 2016, our client exercised her right to take a Family Medical Leave. She exercised her right due to her own serious medical condition. In August 2016, the employer refused to return our client to her position upon her return from Family Medical Leave. At that time, the employer asserted in writing that it had no obligation to our client. This was because our client was a “key employee” of the dealership. In that regard, the employer determined that our client was ineligible for Family Medical Leave. This was due to the fact that she was in the top 10% of wage earners in the company. Thus, she was exempt from the California’s Family Rights Act.
Furthermore, our client was in the top 10% of earners in the company. She earned all of her wages on a commission basis. There are requirements for the Family Medical Leave key employee exemption to apply. California law requires employers to pay key employees on a salary basis. Our client earned 100% of her wages on commission. The exemption did not apply to our client, so we settled the case in February 2017.
California employees must know and understand their rights when requesting Family Medical Leave for a serious medical condition for themselves or a close family member. Some employers believe their obligations to the employee ends after the employee exhausts their 12 weeks of unpaid Family Medical Leave in a calendar year. That’s simply not the case. Even after an employee exhausts their rights, the employer has additional legal duties to accommodate the employee. The employer may even be required to provide the employee with additional reasonable unpaid medical leave under the California’s anti-discrimination law (Fair Employment & Housing Act).
How We Can Help You with Family Medical Leave
Finally, please contact us for a free consultation. We can answer your questions about your right(s) with regard to Family Medical Leave or reasonable accommodations. You may call us at (800) 507-9470 and speak directly with one of our partners.