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Los Angeles Medical Leave Retaliation Lawyer

Despite legal protections in place, some employers engage in retaliatory actions against employees who take medical leave, creating a hostile work environment and undermining their rights. If you feel like you have experienced retaliation after requesting or returning from medical leave, contact Aegis Law Firm today.

What is Medical Leave Retaliation?

What is Medical Leave Retaliation?

Medical leave retaliation in California refers to adverse actions taken by an employer against an employee in response to the employee’s exercise of their legal right to take medical leave. Under California law, employees are entitled to take medical leave for their own serious health condition or to care for a family member’s serious health condition under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights to medical leave under the CFRA, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and other relevant statutes. Employees who experience medical leave retaliation have legal recourse to address the unlawful conduct and seek remedies for any harm suffered as a result.

Common Forms of Medical Leave Retaliation

Common forms of medical leave retaliation can include:


Employers may unlawfully terminate an employee shortly after they return from medical leave, citing pretextual reasons or performance issues as justification for the termination. In this case, one of our Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers can help asess your case circumstances.

Demotion or Reassignment

Employees may face demotion or reassignment to less favorable positions.

Reduced Hours or Pay

Employers may reduce an employee’s hours or pay as a punitive measure for taking time off.

Negative Performance Evaluations

Employees who take medical leave may receive unfairly negative performance evaluations or disciplinary actions upon their return, even if their performance has not actually declined.

Harassment or Hostile Work Environment

Employees may experience harassment, intimidation, or a hostile work environment, making it difficult for them to perform their job duties effectively.

Exclusion from Opportunities

Employers may exclude employees who have taken medical leave from opportunities for advancement, training, or development.


Employers may subject employees to excessive scrutiny, micromanagement, or arbitrary changes in work conditions, creating a stressful and uncomfortable work environment.

Ostracism or Isolation

Employees who take medical leave may be ostracized or isolated by their colleagues or supervisors upon their return, leading to feelings of alienation and exclusion in the workplace.

These forms of retaliation can have serious consequences for employees, including financial hardship, emotional distress, and damage to their professional reputation. 

Legal Protections Against Medical Leave Retaliation

Here are some key legal protections against medical leave retaliation in California:

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The CFRA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for specified reasons, including the employee’s own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member. Under 2 CCR § 11094,

“(b) CFRA’s prohibition against “interference” prohibits an employer from discriminating or retaliating against an employee or prospective employee for having exercised or attempted to exercise CFRA rights…” 

Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)

Multiple sections of FEHA prohibits discrimination and harassment in employment based on various protected characteristics, including disability and medical condition. For example, according to Section 12940

“It is an unlawful employment practice…

(c) For any person to discriminate against any person in the selection, termination, training, or other terms or treatment of that person in any apprenticeship training program, any other training program leading to employment, an unpaid internship, or another limited duration program to provide unpaid work experience for that person because of…medical condition…”

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits discrimination and retaliation against individuals with disabilities in employment. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, including medical leave. Additionally, Section 12203 prohibits any person from retaliating against employees for requesting or taking such accommodations.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Although FMLA is a federal law, it provides similar protections to CFRA in California. Employers covered by FMLA are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights to FMLA leave under § 825.220, which states:

“(a) The FMLA prohibits interference with an employee’s rights under the law, and with legal proceedings or inquiries relating to an  employee’s rights.”

Steps to Address Medical Leave Retaliation

Addressing medical leave retaliation requires employees to take the following steps:

Document Incidents

Keep detailed records of any incidents of retaliation, including dates, times, individuals involved, and specific retaliatory actions taken by your employer.

Report Retaliation

If you experience medical leave retaliation, follow your company’s policies and procedures on reporting it to your employer’s human resources department or a designated supervisor, if you feel comfortable. 

File a Complaint

If the retaliation persists or your employer fails to address it effectively, consider filing a complaint with the California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Seek Legal Advice

Consult an experienced Los Angeles Retaliation Attorney. They can assess your situation, advise you on your legal options, and represent your interests throughout the claims process.

How a Retaliation Attorney Can Help

How a Retaliation Attorney Can Help

A Los Angeles Retaliation Lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating a medical leave retaliation claim and advocating for your rights. First and foremost, they can help you understand your legal rights under California’s employment laws and guide you through the process of filing a complaint with the appropriate government agency. They can ensure that your complaint is properly drafted and submitted in a timely manner, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.

Throughout the legal process, a Los Angeles employment law lawyer will serve as your advocate, representing your interests and negotiating with your employer on your behalf. They can engage in settlement negotiations to seek a resolution that provides you with compensation for any damages suffered as a result of the retaliation, such as lost wages, emotional distress, or punitive damages.

If necessary, your attorney can also litigate your case in court, presenting evidence, examining witnesses, and arguing legal theories to prove that you were subjected to unlawful medical leave retaliation. They will work tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome. 

Contact Us Today

If you’ve experienced medical leave retaliation, don’t wait to take action. Call Aegis Law Firm today at (949) 379-6250 to schedule a free consultation with our Los Angeles Retaliation Lawyer, or message us online.