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California: Obligations of an Employee Taking Leave

May 26, 2022


Under both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), an employee is required to provide at least 30 days’ notice of the need for leave when the need for leave is foreseeable. When the need for leave is not foreseeable, no amount of advance notice is required.

The employee must request leave, orally or in writing, and indicate that the leave is for a covered reason, but there is no requirement that the employee refer specifically to the FMLA or the CFRA. For an eligible employee to say simply “I need some time off for drug rehab” or “I am going to be out for back surgery” is sufficient notice of the employee’s need for leave.

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