Does California Provide Job Protection Leave to New Parents?

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: November 13, 2020

Being a new parent is a tough job. And having to worry about taking time off from work makes it even more difficult.

Fortunately, eligible California employees are entitled to take time off under the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA). NPLA provides eligible employees with 12 weeks of job-protected leave to bond with their new child. The leave should be taken with one (1) year of the child’s birth, foster care placement, or adoption.  Although NPLA guarantees job protection, employees should know that the time off is unpaid. This includes maternity leave for new mothers and paternity leave for new fathers (also known as baby bonding leave).

Which Employers Does NPLA Apply To?

NPLA applies to Los Angeles and California employers with 20 or more employees.

NPLA is similar to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). CFRA is a labor law that guarantees California employees working for an employer with at least 50 employees up to 12 weeks of baby bonding time.

Which Employees are Eligible for NPLA Leave?

To be eligible for NPLA time off, an employee must meet the following conditions:

  • Worked for an eligible employer for at least 1 year (12 months)
  • Worked at least 1,250 hours in the past year period prior to taking leave and
  • Work at a worksite that has 20 or more employees within a 75-mile radius

Both part-time and full-time employees are eligible for NPLA. Eligible employees may take the leave all at once or intermittently.

If both parents work for the same employer, the employer isn’t required to grant leave to both parents at the same time. Additionally, the total amount of leave for both parents can be limited to the amount one parent could take (12 weeks).

Can Employees Get Paid During Time Off? 

Although employees do not get paid under NPLA, they can use the accrued time to get paid. For example, employees can use their vacation pay, sick time, or other paid time off earned through their employer.

It’s important to note that employers are not allowed to prevent employees from using their accrued time off. Additionally, employers are now allowed to force or require employees to use their paid time off. 

Employee Rights Guaranteed Under NPLA 

While on NPLA leave, eligible employees are guaranteed the following:

  • Up to 12 (twelve) weeks job-protected, unpaid leave
  • Full health insurance coverage during leave and
  • Employment upon the employee’s return to work into the same or similar position. A similar job is a job that is similar in terms of compensation, location, and duties.

Under law labor, it’s illegal for employers to prevent you from taking time off under NPLA. If your employer discriminates or harasses you for taking time off, they may have violated your employment rights. Additionally, employers cannot wrongfully terminate, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote you for exercising your rights under NPLA.

Consult with our New Parent Leave Act Attorneys Today

If your employer has denied you time off or has interfered with your rights under NPLA, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. We are confident that our experienced attorneys can obtain the maximum compensation for your case and offer a “no win, no fee” guarantee. Contact Mesriani Law Group today for your free legal consultation.