Taking care of yourself and your family means that you sometimes need to take time off due to serious illness or injury. In other cases, you deserve time to be with that new baby when he or she comes home. Both federal and state law help protect these rights, which means that you can do what you need to do without jeopardizing your job.
The United States is thought of a leader in many areas, but we appear to be behind on one issue: family leave. The U.S. is currently the only industrialized country in the world that does not ensure a job once parents return from family leave. Recently California work-life advocates pushed for a bill which would have required small businesses to guarantee employees' jobs after parental leave. The bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.
A Kaiser Permanente nurse in California is alleging retaliation after she took approved leave to care for a sick relative. The woman had reportedly taken leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act to care for her mother, who had been the recipient of a total hip replacement. The nurse was fired shortly before returning to work at the medical facility, according to her complaint.
In California, there may be a legitimate cause for termination for employees. However, by that same token, there are cases where an employee is let go and that termination is a violation(s) of state or federal law. Such was the case when the Thunderbird Country Club let its executive chef go after the chef suffered a life-threatening illness. That same chef has now won a key ruling in his wrongful termination claim.