Family and Personal Leave provides you with stability when you need it most, in some cases offering paid time off as well as ensuring your job will still be waiting for you when you return. In the animation industry, you may have access to family and personal leave from four different sources: 1) Your employer’s individual family leave policies; 2) The Animation Guild Master Agreement; 3) State law, and; 4) Federal law.
Employers are permitted and encouraged to provide the most robust family and personal leave benefits possible to their employees. We recommend all Guild members reach out to their employer’s HR department to see what benefits are offered beyond what is provided through the Animation Guild Agreement and applicable laws.
The 2021-2024 Animation Guild Master Agreement amended Article 27 from “Parental Leave” to “Family and Medical Leave.” Family and Medical Leave is provided to any employee working under an “all episodes produced” or “run of season” guarantee that is anticipated to produce at least 26 weeks of employment. If you qualify, you are entitled to up to a total of eight weeks within a one-year period of unpaid leave for the birth of a child or to care for a newborn child, newly adopted child, or newly placed foster care child; to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their employment. If an employee requests leave they must use all eight weeks within a year of the start of the employee’s initial leave. No more than eight weeks of leave may be used within any 12-month period. The definition of a family member and the entirety of Article 27 can be found on pages 20-21 in the 2021-2024 Memorandum of Agreement.
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), any employer who has at least 50 employees in a 75 mile radius of the work site must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or tend to your own serious health condition (which may include pregnancy). In order to qualify, you must have been an employee for at least 12 months in total and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the last 12 months.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a new law that requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.” The Act went into effect June 27, 2023. Click here to learn more about the Act and what it covers.
Under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), you and your spouse or registered domestic partner may have family and personal leave and rights. Any employer who has at least 50 employees in a 75 mile radius of the work site must provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to bond with a new child, care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or tend to your own serious health condition. In order to qualify, you must have been an employee for at least 12 months in total and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the last 12 months.
The California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) applies to any employer who has at least 20 employees. To qualify for up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, you must have been an employee for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours.
The California Pregnancy Disability Law (PDL) allows up to four months of job-protected leave if you are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. This length of time is determined by a healthcare provider and applies to any employer who has at least five employees. PDL leave may be used in addition to CFRA or NPLA leave. Unlike the aforementioned rights, the PDL only applies to the pregnant parent.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination due to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. This act also protects your right to reasonable pregnancy accommodation in your workplace as recommended by a healthcare provider, and provides job protection while you use disability leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or a related health condition.
In addition, California Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) may provide partial income replacement during your family or personal leave of up to eight weeks for PFL and six to eight weeks for SDI, or more when SDI is combined with PDL. To qualify, you must have earned at least $300 in the last five to 18 months from which SDI deductions were withheld. To confirm eligibility, look for the CA SDI tax deduction on your paystubs. Learn more about how to calculate benefits here.
Additional Resources & Information
Parents & Caregivers
- CA Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance: Partial pay to Californians who need to take time off to care for a new baby or seriously-ill loved one — Online PFL and SDI forms
- MPTF Palliative Care: Support services for members and their families who are experiencing life threatening illnesses
- Administration of Community Living: Aging and disability networks
Health & Wellness
If you have any questions regarding Family Leave, or have any issues receiving the family leave to which you are entitled, please email the Animation Guild office for assistance or call at 818-845-7500; the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (CFRA, NPLA, PDL, FEHA) at 1-800-884-1684 ; the California Employee Development Department PFL Program at 1-877-238-4373; SDI at 1-800-480-3287; or the Department of Labor (FMLA) at 1-866-487-2365.
Are you interested in advocating for supporting workplace benefits at every studio? Consider joining the Family & Personal Leave Subcommittee, comprised of volunteer members of The Animation Guild (TAG). Email for more information.