How Do I Request Disability Leave for Work?

Do You Qualify for Medical Leave?

To request disability leave for work, first make sure that you qualify for leave under California or Federal law. Under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) employees must work for a company with 50 or more employees in a 75 mile radius. The employee must also have worked 1250 hours in the 12 months before the leave begins.

Employees who do not qualify for leave under CFRA may qualify for reasonable accommodation leave under the Fair Housing and Employment Act. FEHA applies to all employers in California with 5 or more employees. Under FEHA employers must provide leave for pregnancy disability for up to 4 months. Employees with other disabilities may request leave as is deemed medically necessary. To qualify for FEHA reasonable accommodation leave an employee must also show that they have a physical or mental condition that limits a major life activity.

When to Give Notice of Medical Leave

If you qualify for disability leave, employers need a certain level of notice before they can allow you to use it. It is important to start the process early to avoid any timing disagreements later.

Generally, 30 days notice is considered enough time to request disability leave. When 30 days is not possible due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstances make the request as soon as it is practical to do so.

You also should document the leave request in writing. Email is the most recommended way of doing this because you will have a record of any responses. However, you can also fax the request. Whether you send email or fax make sure to get a written (or emailed) confirmation that your employer received the request.

Make sure that you keep a copy of all your medical records while receiving medical attention for the disability. Also keep your employer informed of the time frame which your doctor thinks you will be able to return to work.

If you believe that your employer has unlawfully retaliated against you for taking time off to care for yourself or a loved one you may be entitled to sue the employer. To learn more contact the attorneys at Baker Law Group, LLP today at (858) 452-0093 to schedule a free consultation.