What Are FMLA Benefits in California and How to Apply for Parental Leave
Whether you are expecting a baby or caring for an elderly parent, you may need to take some time off from work but want to be assured you will have a job to go back to. That is exactly why the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was created.
Enacted in 1993, the FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work during any 12-month period. Knowing where and how to file for FLMA in California can cause a headache. DoNotPay can alleviate that tension.
Who is Eligible for FMLA Benefits in California?
If you have worked for your employer for more than one year, you may be eligible for FMLA benefits. You must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the past 12 months. And you must work for an employer with at least 50 employees living within a 75-mile radius of the job site.
Those who may be eligible include:
- New moms and dads welcoming a new baby
- Adoptive or foster care parents who are adding a child to their family
- A caregiver of a family member who is seriously ill including a spouse, parent, or child under the age of 18 or over with a mental or physical disability
- Your own serious health condition
- A caregiver for an injured service member in the family
- One who needs to care for a seriously injured or ill spouse, child, parent, or next of kin of a covered servicemember
- You must deal with urgent needs arising from an immediate family member's deployment in the National Guard or Reserves
The requirements for FMLA can be confusing.
Are CFRA and FMLA Benefits the Same?
No. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is separate from FMLA, although there are similarities in what they offer. While FMLA's purpose is to provide job protection when you are ready to go back to work, CFRA does not guarantee your employment status. CFRA does offer wage replacement of up to 70% of your salary for up to eight weeks.
Filing for CFRA is a different process, applied for through California's Employment Development Department.
How to Apply for FMLA on Your Own
When applying for FMLA, you will need to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria. You will be asked to provide supporting paperwork and forms with your claim. That supporting information could include:
- Medical certification for your own illness
- Medical certification for the illness of a family member
- Medical certification of pregnancy and due date
- Court documentation of pending adoption or foster arrangements of a child
Medical certification forms must be submitted within 15 calendar days after having your physician fill it out.
In the case of a foreseeable request, you are asked to send in a request letter 30 days in advance of your projected onset date. For example, if you are requesting FMLA for adoption of a child, you should file your request 30 days prior to your legal adoption date.
Your human resources department may have the application to file for FMLA, or you can search the Department of Labor's website for the forms or an online application. Either way you will need to collect the necessary supporting documentation and make copies to file, while retaining copies for yourself.
Or you could simply file for FMLA through DoNotPay.
How to Use DoNotPay to Apply for FMLA
Trying to locate forms, filling them out, and figuring out how to submit them is a hassle. Using the DoNotPay app to file for FMLA is so much easier. There are just a few simple steps to follow, and you're done.
- Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).
- Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.
- If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).
- Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections).
- Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.
- Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.
DoNotPay Can Help You Apply for FLMA Anywhere in the Country with a Click of a Button
While we've been focusing on California, DoNotPay is not just for Californians. DoNotPay can file your claim no matter where you live, be it in Alaska, New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, or Florida. Check your specific state to learn more:
Other Things DoNotPay Can Do for You
You can see how quickly and effortlessly DoNotPay can file an FMLA leave from work for you. But that is just the beginning.
Pay the Bills
Are you tired of trying to remember when each of your bills is due? You need to sit down to pay them by hand and make the payments to the post office or log in to each independent website to pay them one at a time. From your utilities to your credit cards, DoNotPay will keep track of when each of your bills is due and pay them automatically for you while sending you a note that it's done!
Request Paid Sick Leave
If you are sick, but not requesting FLMA, some states including California have their own laws regarding receiving pay while you are out sick. DoNotPay can request paid sick leave from your employer for you.
Need a Notary?
We all have formal documents from time to time that requires review and witnessing by a public notary. DoNotPay will take care of that for you, too.
This is just a taste of what DoNotPay can help you with. Why not check out the whole banquet? Contact us today.