The California Family Rights Act provides employees who qualify with up to 12 weeks of medical and family leave. But as a remote worker, you may assume these rights do not apply to you. This may not be the case, however.
In the summer of 2015, the state amended the CFRA and its protections to extend to more employees. One of the major regulations affects those who are remote workers without a fixed worksite location.
Getting to know the CFRA
If you are an eligible employee, you may take leave under the CFRA for a serious health issue of your own, or a serious health issue that pertains to your child, parent, spouse or registered domestic partner. You may qualify to take up to 12 weeks of leave during a calendar year. You can also use your CFRA leave time to bond with your new baby, and your employer must provide you with healthcare coverage during the bonding time.
Covering remote employees
Telecommuting is becoming more commonplace in many businesses. If you are a California-based remote worker employed by a qualifying company, you are eligible for CFRA protection, even if you have no fixed worksite, thanks to the new regulations.
For example, you may be a marketer who lives in a small California town and you telecommute. The supervisor to whom you report may be in Chicago or anywhere else out of state. As long as that worksite location has at least 50 full- or part-time employees within 75 miles, it is eligible. In other words, your worksite is not your home, as one would expect, but the location to which you report or from which you receive assignments.
Looking for help
Keep in mind that your employer may require you to use accrued vacation time, paid sick leave or paid time off during unpaid portions of your CFRA leave. If you are wondering whether you are covered, feel your employer failed to correctly handle your leave request or have other questions or concerns, you may wish to reach out for legal consultation and assistance to better understand the CFRA and how it pertains to you.