Different expert here. The expert with whom you first communicated is not qualified by Justanswer to answer California Employment Law questions. Please permit me to assist.
California law provides for payments from the State Disability Fund for wage loss of employees who take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. Unemp. Code §§ 2601, 3301(a); > 22 Ca Adc § 3303-1.
However, an employee's right to unpaid family care leave is provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The employee's right to partial compensation for wage loss is provided by Paid Family Leave, or PFL (also referred to in the statutes and regulations as Family Temporary Disability Insurance, or FTDI), and applies regardless of whether the employee qualifies for FMLA or CFRA leave. Employees entitled to leave under the FMLA and CFRA must take PFL leave concurrently with leave taken under the FMLA and CFRA. (The PFL does not create a new right to a leave of absence or provide any form of job protection.) Unemp.Ca Ins §§ 3300(b), 3303.1(b); 22 Ca Adc § 3301(a)-1.
In plain English, unless your employer has at least 50 employees working with 75 miles driving distance of your worksite, then your employer can deny you leave (even though you can obtain paid leave should you choose to take leave despite the employer's denial), and you would have no job protection.
Meaning that the instant you start your leave, you can be fired, and there would be nothing you could do about this outcome. This is a somewhat bizarre and unfair loophole which can be exploited by employers with less than 50 employees. Unfortunantely, it's the law, and until the legislature gets around to closing the loophole, all employees are in the same boat.
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