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The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides most employees in California with the right to take up to 12 weeks off work to care for themselves or their family members with a serious health condition, or to bond with a new child. Employees returning to work after taking CFRA leave are entitled to their same or a comparable position, among other job protections.

For you to qualify for this leave, you must have worked for an employer that has 5 or more employees. Plus, you must have worked for more than 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to their leave.

What qualifies as a “serious health condition”? A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition involving either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility, or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.

As of January 1, 2023, family and medical leave is expanded to include “designated persons” not just your immediate family members. A designated person can be any person related by blood to the employee – such as the employee’s aunt, uncle, or cousin. A designated person can also be any person who is like family to the employee, such as the employee’s unmarried partner or best friend (when in a relationship equivalent to family).