Whether you’re welcoming a new child into your home or taking care of an ill family member, the last thing you should be worrying about is your job. That is why it is important for everyone to understand what rights you and your co-workers have when it comes to Family Leave.
Family 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 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 leave possible to their employees. We recommend all Guild members reach out to their employer’s HR department to see if any Family Leave is 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.
California has four applicable laws. Under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), you and your spouse or registered domestic partner may have family leave and family 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 in total and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last 12 months.
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 leave of up to six 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.
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.
If you have any questions regarding Family Leave, or have any issues receiving the family leave to which you are entitled, please contact the Animation Guild office for assistance 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.
To learn more about your rights, you can also reference the Department of Fair Employment and Housing Frequently Asked Questions resource as well as the TAG Family & Personal Leave Subcommittee blog.
Note: Workers outside of California should refer to applicable laws in their state of residency. All terms and conditions reported above are derived from the appropriate contracts. If there is any inconsistency between this information and the contract, the contract controls.