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Wrongful Termination Based on Family Leave

California Lawyers Assisting Workers With Families

Although employment is at will in California, this does not mean that your employer can violate the law when it terminates you. In a wrongful termination lawsuit, you can seek recovery of damages if you were terminated for an illegal reason, such as for exercising rights protected under the law. Often, businesses realize that a worker has engaged in a protected activity and do not specify the real reason why they are firing the worker. Instead, they may find ways to terminate an employee without revealing the real, discriminatory reasons for the termination. If you believe that you may have received a wrongful termination based on family leave, you should call the California wrongful termination lawyers at The Nourmand Law Firm. We have represented workers who have needed to exercise their rights for more than two decades and understand how to build a viable case so that our clients can move on with their lives after being treated unfairly and in violation of the law.

Wrongful Termination Based on Family Leave

Family leave laws require your employer to allow you to take a certain period of time off when both your employer and you are eligible. Both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allow you to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for certain reasons, such as dealing with a serious medical problem, caring for a seriously sick family member, or bonding with a newborn, foster child or adopted child when they first become part of your family.

CFRA applies to private companies that have at least 50 employees during each of at least 20 weeks. In order to be eligible for this leave, you must have worked for the covered employer for a minimum of 1,250 hours in the prior 12-month period, and you must have been employed for at least 12 months on the date on which your leave begins.

CFRA tends to provide more expansive protection than the FMLA does. You can take intermittent leave within the first year after your newborn comes home, for instance, and you should not be terminated for taking it.

You will need to provide reasonable notice that you are taking leave under the California law. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires you to give at least 30 days’ notice.

Your Leave Is Job-Protected

Importantly, family leaves under both FMLA and CFRA are job-protected. Your employer should not punish you or make adverse employment decisions that harm you because you took the leave to which you were entitled. If you were laid off or fired because you took family leave, you may have a claim for damages. Not every employee in the state is eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave. However, so long as your employer is covered by CFRA, your employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising your rights.


When employees prevail in wrongful termination lawsuits against former employers, they are awarded monetary damages. These damages could include:

  • Lost income
  • Lost employment benefits
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost professional reputation
  • Attorneys’ fees

When an employer’s conduct is particularly egregious, it may be appropriate to seek punitive damages. These are damages intended to punish an employer and deter future misconduct.

Consult an Experienced Employment Lawyer in California

You may be uncertain about your rights in connection with medical or family leave. In most cases, when you take this type of leave, you are going through major, and potentially expensive, life changes, and it is stressful to lose your job. It is crucial to retain a lawyer who understands how to gather evidence and develop a claim on behalf of a worker. If you believe that you might have suffered a wrongful termination based on family leave, you should discuss what happened with the experienced California attorneys at The Nourmand Law Firm. We represent workers in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, as well as Oakland and Sacramento, among other areas. Complete our online form or call us at 310-553-3600 or 800-700-WAGE (9243).

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