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Employee rights and qualifying for paid family leave

Paid family leave (PFL) is provided to California workers to allow them to care for a loved one and have time off of work to do so. Those who are considering PFL need to know whether or not they qualify for it.

First of all, to receive PFL, the employee must be covered by State Disability Insurance (SDI) or a voluntary plan in its stead and have a minimum of $300 in the base period from withheld deductions. Second, the employee needs to provide medical information to bolster the claim that the person receiving care has a health condition that requires the care. This claim must be submitted between nine to 49 days after the first day of PFL started. The employee also needs to give documentation that supports the claim of bonding with a new child. In addition, the employee must use up to two weeks of earned and unused vacation time or paid time off if the employer requires it before the beginning of PFL and serve a seven day waiting period prior to benefits being paid for every different recipient of care within twelve months.

The employee might not be eligible to receive PFL benefits under some circumstances. Once circumstance is if he or she is receiving SDI, unemployment benefits or workers' compensation. Another circumstance is if the employee not working or seeking work at the time the family care leave starts. In addition, an employee may not be eligible to receive PFL benefits if he or she is not suffering from lost wages or if the requirement for care has not been shown to be necessary by a treating physician's certificate. In addition, an employee may not be eligible for benefits if he or she is in custody after having been convicted of committing a crime. The employee is entitled to know why the decisions have been made, appeal a decision, have a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and to have personal information kept private.

Workers in California who believe they are entitled to PFL must be fully aware of the various rules that must be followed, what circumstances under which they are eligible and when they might not be eligible. As with any employee benefits or a denial of benefits, seeking to have employee rights upheld can be achieved with assistance from a qualified attorney.

Source: edd.ca.gov, "Paid Family Leave -- Paid Family Leave for California Employees," accessed on July 12, 2016