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Home » Blog » What employees should know about intermittent bonding leave

What employees should know about intermittent bonding leave

Posted on May 5, 2017 | By Omid Nosrati | Firm News,Wrongful Termination

In a series of ongoing posts, our blog has been taking a closer look at the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act, focusing first on the conditions employees must satisfy to fall within their protective ambit and, most recently, on the situations in which “family care and medical leave” may be taken.

The next logical step in this discussion is to look at how leave can be taken under the FMLA/CFRA. Specifically, an examination as to whether employees entitled to the 12 weeks in a 12-month period must take the time away all at once or can break it up.

In general, both the FMLA and the CFRA dictate that qualifying employees may take leave 1) in a single block, 2) on a reduced work schedule or 3) on an intermittent leave basis.

While this may then seem like a straightforward matter, it’s actually fairly complex. To illustrate this complexity, consider the differing approaches taken by the FMLA and the CFRA toward intermittent leave as it relates to bonding time. To recap, this refers to the time taken by an employee for the birth of a child, or the placement of a child in connection with foster care or adoption.

While the FMLA dictates that employees must secure an agreement/consent from an employer to take intermittent leave for bonding, the CFRA has no such requirement. However, it does dictate that the basic minimum duration for intermittent bonding leave is two weeks.

Furthermore, it provides that employers must grant requests for intermittent bonding leave lasting less than two weeks on at least two occasions, and may grant additional requests for these shorter leaves as it sees fit.

As you can see, the issue of when leave can be taken under the FMLA/CFRA is far from simple. As such, employees who believe their employer has unjustly denied their request for leave — or wrongfully terminated them for exercising these rights — should strongly consider consulting with a skilled legal professional.

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About the Author
Omid Nosrati

Mr. Nosrati been selected as one of the Top 100 Labor and Employment lawyers in the State of California for 2016, 2017, and 2018 by The American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA). He has a “Superb” (10 out of 10) rating on Avvo and a 4.9 out of 5.0 Peer Rating from other lawyers on Martindale Hubbell. Omid Nosrati is also a member of the respected California Employment Lawyers Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and Santa Monica Bar Association. He is a firm believer in education, loves to read about technology trends in the legal field and leverages his firm’s technological strengths to benefit each of his firm’s clients.