Difference Between FMLA and CFRA

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a Federal law, while California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a California state law. These laws are identical except for the following two important points and employees should demand that they are taking CFRA leave.

1. The CFRA does not require the medical diagnosis by the employer’s doctor, providing privacy for the patient. The FMLA, on the other hand, requires that the employee’s doctor disclose the medical diagnosis of the employee.

The employee is entitled to a right of privacy under the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Employers cannot deprive their employees of that right by using a FMLA form which requires patient’s diagnosis. Employee have an absolute right to refuse to provide such information as a condition of a medical leave of absence.

2. A CFRA leave of absence can be combined with a maternity leave of absence under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to run consecutively for a maximum of 7 months. Under the FMLA, the leaves of absence run concurrently for a maximum of 4 months.

Similarity Between FMLA & CFRA

  • Both require the employer to continue its contribution to the healthcare plan.
  • Both allow the employer not to pay wages during the leave of absence.
  • Both require the employee to have a serious health condition. The employees generally must visit a healthcare provider, obtain a doctor note evidencing the serious health condition and provide the employer with the note within a reasonable time.

If you are not sure about your employment rights, our Los Angeles employment lawyer will be happy to provide a free consultation over the phone. Contact Alan Burton newman, PLC to discuss your rights as an employee!