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California Employers Required to Provide Another Protected Leave of Absence

  • February 8, 2010

The Civil Air Patrol Employment Protection Act now requires California employers with 15 or more employees to permit employees who have been employed 90 or more days to take a leave of absence to respond to an emergency operational mission of the California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.  An eligible employee may take up to 10 days per year.  Leave is limited to three days on any one occasion, but can be extended if authorized by the government entity that called for the mission and the employer agrees. 

Unless the employer voluntarily elects to pay for the time off, Civil Air Patrol leave is unpaid; however, an employee cannot be required to substitute paid time off, such as vacation, and sick leave, for the unpaid leave. 

Employees who take Civil Air Patrol leave must be reinstated to the same position they had prior to commencing leave with the equivalent seniority status, benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment, unless the employer can prove the failure to do so was unrelated to the leave. 

Employers may not discriminate against or terminate employees who are members of the Civil Air Patrol because of such membership.  Nor may an employer interfere with, restrain or deny an employee’s attempt to exercise a right established by the Act.

Employers should ensure that managers, supervisors and human resources personnel responsible for administering leaves of absence are aware of these new legal requirements.  In addition, employers may wish to update their employee handbooks for California employees to reflect this new leave requirement. 

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