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Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

Purpose - The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) are laws that can each guarantee you up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave within respective 12-month periods for a serious medical condition for you or your qualifying family member.

Understanding the Difference Between Job Protection and How You are Paid

There are two aspects of leave that are important to understand: job protection and non-work income replacement. How you are paid depends on your own leave balances (sick, vacation, etc.), as well as your eligibility for income replacement through:

  • Workers' Compensation (WC), if the injury occurred on the Job.
  • Workers' Compensation (Temporary Disability) - Temporary Disability Workers' Compensation payments are made when an injury or illness is accepted as work related. Temporary Disability payments are made direct to the employee by Tristar the County's Third-Party Administrator. Payments are approximately 2/3 of an employee's average weekly wage up to the State maximum and may last up to two years.
  • California's State Disability Insurance (SDI)*, if illness or injury is not job related.
  • State Disability (SDI) - SDI provides affordable, short-term (up to one year) benefit to eligible workers who suffer a loss of wages when unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, or due to pregnancy or childbirth. SDI does not pay for the first 7 calendar days of the disability. If SDI approves your claim, you will receive up to 55% of your weekly salary for a maximum of 52 weeks. Benefits may be generated within 15 to 21 days after submitting the SDI claim, assuming all the necessary information is provided.
  • Family Leave (PFL)*, for illness or injury of family member.
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) - PFL was established for workers who suffer a loss of wages when they need to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, registered domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. It pays up to six weeks of benefits.

*The SDI and PFL programs are funded through payroll deductions. Note: Most but not all, County employees are covered. Check your union's MOU or call an HR Benefits representative to find out if you are eligible to file a claim for SDI.

Tutorials on How to Register and File a Claim

Long Term Disability (LTD)

  • Long Term Disability (LTD) - This insurance is an optional plan that you may choose at the time of hire and pays benefits only if you are unable to work for 90 days or more. LTD pays up to a maximum percentage of pre-disability income up to $3,000 per month. Benefits may be reduced by other payments you receive, such as SDI.
  • Employee Responsibilities While Receiving Workers' Comp, SDI, PFL or LTD - It is not lawful to receive disability benefits AND a full paycheck. The total compensation received by you (paycheck + disability) cannot exceed 100% of standard base salary. Therefore, you must work with your department Payroll Person and the Department of Finance, to properly integrate disability benefits with your County paycheck. This is called integration.

Integration of Disability Benefits

Integration is a method of combining your paid time off (accruals) with disability benefits during a medical leave of absence. State Disability Insurance (SDI), Paid Family Leave (PFL), and Temporary Disability under Worker's (TD) all provide partial wage replacement during a medical leave of absence. It is not lawful to receive disability benefits and a full paycheck. Your total compensation (paycheck + disability) cannot exceed 100% of your standard base salary.

Employee Responsibilities

As soon as you receive a notice of benefits from SDI, PFL, or TTD (debit card, statement or check), you must coordinate with your department payroll technician(s) to provide a copy for the purpose of payroll integration. Typically, you will receive a new statement biweekly or monthly, so this will be a recurring responsibility during your leave of absence.**

**If your individual medical circumstances prohibit you from carrying out these responsibilities, please call your HR Benefits Representative without hesitation to make alternative arrangements.