Is a remote employee who falls ill covered under the CFRA?

The California Family Rights Act is a California statute that permits leave for certain conditions. If you are an eligible employee, you may take leave of up to 12 weeks for a serious health condition or a similar condition that affects a family member. It also covers the birth or adoption of a child.

Lawmakers updated the CFRA in 2015 with new regulations that spell out coverage for remote employees.

Coverage for remote employees

Say for example that you live in Carlsbad and work from home for a software manufacturing company based in Sorrento Valley. Because the company has more than 50 employees and because you work within a 75-mile radius of your worksite, the CFRA ensures that you will be covered if you fall ill and are temporarily unable to work at your computer. The law defines "worksite" as the home base to which you report and from which your work assignments generate.

Problems that develop

You have requested CFRA leave so that you can recover from your illness. The 2015 updates have changed the amount of time your employer has to reply after you have asked for that leave: from 10 days to five. You have not worked for the company for a full 12 months, but will hit that mark while you are on leave. You have, however, met the 1,250-hour service requirement. Nevertheless, your employer has hinted that the position you currently hold may not be available when you are able to return to work.


There are several elements pertaining to CFRA rules that need examination here, the most important of which is whether you will still have your job when you have recovered from your illness. You most assuredly have rights under this act, and you can request a thorough investigation to determine whether your employer has run afoul of the terms of the CFRA. 

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