HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 32 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVES POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


California employers with five employees or more must provide eligible workers with unpaid job-protected family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act(CFRA).  Employers with 50 or more employees must also comply with the corresponding federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Define employee eligibility under CFRA and FMLA, which includes having worked for the employer for at least 12 months  and at least 1250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the start of the leave;
  • Specify the authorized reasons for taking such leave, which can include baby-bonding leave, time off to care for certain family members’ or  the employee’s own serious health condition, and other reasons specified in the laws;
  • Inform eligible employees how to request FMLA/CFRA leave along with any supporting medical certification;
  • Determine whether the employee must use any accrued unused vacation and/or available paid sick leave benefits as a term of the unpaid leave;
  • Explain the effect of FMLA/CFRA leave on employee benefits, such as requiring ongoing payments of insurance premiums to maintain group health plan coverage and whether vacation and/or paid sick leave benefits will continue to accrue during the leave; and
  • Describe the employee’s rights and responsibilities when returning from FMLA/CFRA leave.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include a family and medical leaves policy, and educate and train your supervisors on these laws.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or email her.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
July 20, 2023

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