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Must we pay employee who takes family and medical leave to care for relative?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees will be taking a protected leave of absence to care for her ill mother. Are we required to pay her for the time off?

A. Under the California Family Rights Act, the state law equivalent to the federal FMLA, employers are not required to pay employees during the leave. However, employees may elect or an employer may require the employee to use accrued vacation time or personal time.

Employers also must allow workers to use paid sick leave “to attend to an illness of a child, parent or spouse of the employee.” (Similarly, if the leave is taken because of the employee’s own serious health condition, accrued sick leave may be used during this period.)

Furthermore, employers must continue any group health plan for the duration of the worker’s leave.

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