CACI No. 2600. Violation of CFRA Rights - Essential Factual Elements

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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2600.Violation of CFRA Rights - Essential Factual Elements
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] [refused to grant [him/
her/nonbinary pronoun] [family care/medical] leave] [refused to return
[him/her/nonbinary pronoun] to the same or a comparable job when [his/
her/nonbinary pronoun] [family care/medical] leave ended] [other violation
of CFRA rights]. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all
of the following:
1. That [name of plaintiff] was eligible for [family care/medical]
2. That [name of plaintiff] [requested/took] leave [insert one of the
2. [for the birth of [name of plaintiff]’s child or bonding with the
2. [for the placement of a child with [name of plaintiff] for adoption
or foster care;]
2. [to care for [name of plaintiff]’s [child/parent/spouse/domestic
partner/grandparent/grandchild/sibling] who had a serious health
2. [for [name of plaintiff]’s own serious health condition that made
[him/her/nonbinary pronoun] unable to perform the functions of
[his/her/nonbinary pronoun] job with [name of defendant];]
2. [for [specify qualifying military exigency related to covered active
duty or call to covered active duty of a spouse, domestic partner,
child, or parent, e.g., [name of plaintiff]’s spouse’s upcoming military
deployment on short notice];]
3. That [name of plaintiff] provided reasonable notice to [name of
defendant] of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] need for [family care/
medical] leave, including its expected timing and length. [If [name
of defendant] notified [his/her/nonbinary pronoun/its] employees
that 30 days’ advance notice was required before the leave was to
begin, then [name of plaintiff] must show that [he/she/nonbinary
pronoun] gave that notice or, if 30 days’ notice was not reasonably
possible under the circumstances, that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun]
gave notice as soon as possible];
4. That [name of defendant] [refused to grant [name of plaintiff]’s
request for [family care/medical] leave/refused to return [name of
plaintiff] to the same or a comparable job when [his/her/nonbinary
pronoun] [family care/medical] leave ended/other violation of CFRA
5. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and
6. That [name of defendant]’s [decision/conduct] was a substantial
factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.
New September 2003; Revised October 2008, May 2021
Directions for Use
This instruction is intended for use when an employee claims violation of the CFRA
(Gov. Code, § 12945.1 et seq.). In addition to a qualifying employers refusal to
grant CFRA leave, CFRA violations include failure to provide benefits as required
by CFRA and loss of seniority.
The second-to-last bracketed option in element 2 does not include leave taken for
disability on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. (Gov.
Code, § 12945.2(b)(4)(C).) If there is a dispute concerning the existence of a
“serious health condition,” the court must instruct the jury as to the meaning of this
term. (See Gov. Code, § 12945.2(b)(12).) If there is no dispute concerning the
relevant individual’s condition qualifying as a “serious health condition,” it is
appropriate for the judge to instruct the jury that the condition qualifies as a “serious
health condition.”
The last bracketed option in element 2 requires a qualifying exigency for military
family leave related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of the
employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the
United States. That phrase is defined in the Unemployment Insurance Code. (See
Unemp. Ins. Code, § 3302.2.)
Give the bracketed sentence under element 3 only if the facts involve an expected
birth, placement for adoption, or planned medical treatment, and there is evidence
that the employer required 30 days’ advance notice of leave. (See Cal. Code Regs.,
tit. 2, § 11091(a)(2).)
Sources and Authority
California Family Rights Act. Government Code section 12945.2.
“Employer” Defined. Government Code section 12945.2(b)(3).
“Parent” Defined. Government Code section 12945.2(b)(10) (Assem. Bill 1033;
Stats. 2021, ch. 327) [adding parent-in-law to the definition of parent].
“Serious Health Condition” Defined. Government Code section 12945.2(b)(12).
“An employee who takes CFRA leave is guaranteed that taking such leave will
not result in a loss of job security or other adverse employment actions. Upon an
employee’s timely return from CFRA leave, an employer must generally restore
the employee to the same or a comparable position. An employer is not required
to reinstate an employee who cannot perform her job duties after the expiration
of a protected medical leave.” (Rogers v. County of Los Angeles (2011) 198
Cal.App.4th 480, 487 [130 Cal.Rptr.3d 350], footnote and internal citations
omitted, superseded on other grounds by statute.)
“A CFRA interference claim “consists of the following elements: (1) the
employee’s entitlement to CFRA leave rights; and (2) the employers
interference with or denial of those rights.” (Soria v. Univision Radio Los
Angeles, Inc. (2016) 5 Cal.App.5th 570, 601 [210 Cal.Rptr.3d 59].)
“[C]ourts have distinguished between two theories of recovery under the CFRA
and the FMLA. ‘Interference’ claims prevent employers from wrongly interfering
with employees’ approved leaves of absence, and ‘retaliation’ or ‘discrimination’
claims prevent employers from terminating or otherwise taking action against
employees because they exercise those rights.” (Richey v. AutoNation, Inc.
(2015) 60 Cal.4th 909, 920 [182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 644, 341 P.3d 438].)
“An interference claim under CFRA does not invoke the burden shifting analysis
of the McDonnell Douglas test. Rather, such a claim requires only that the
employer deny the employee’s entitlement to CFRA-qualifying leave. A CFRA
interference claim ‘consists of the following elements: (1) the employee’s
entitlement to CFRA leave rights; and (2) the employers interference with or
denial of those rights.’ (Moore v. Regents of University of California (2016)
248 Cal.App.4th 216, 250 [206 Cal.Rptr.3d 841], internal citations omitted.)
“The right to reinstatement is unwaivable but not unlimited.” (Richey, supra, 60
Cal.4th at p. 919.)
“It is not enough that [plaintiff’s] mother had a serious health condition.
[Plaintiff’s] participation to provide care for her mother had to be ‘warranted’
during a ‘period of treatment or supervision . . . .’ (Pang v. Beverly Hospital,
Inc. (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 986, 995 [94 Cal.Rptr.2d 643], internal citation and
footnote omitted.)
“[T]he relevant inquiry is whether a serious health condition made [plaintiff]
unable to do her job at defendant’s hospital, not her ability to do her essential
job functions ‘generally’ . . . .” (Lonicki v. Sutter Health Central (2008) 43
Cal.4th 201, 214 [74 Cal.Rptr.3d 570, 180 P.3d 321].)
Secondary Sources
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, §§ 1060,
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 12-A, Overview
Of Key Statutes, 12:32 (The Rutter Group)
Chin et al., California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation, Ch. 12-B, Family
And Medical Leave Act (FMLA)/California Family Rights Act (CFRA), ¶¶ 12:146,
12:390, 12:421, 12:857, 12:1201, 12:1300 (The Rutter Group)
1 Wrongful Employment Termination Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 2d ed.) Other Employee
Rights Statutes, §§ 4.18-4.20
1 Wilcox, California Employment Law, Ch. 8, Leaves of Absence, §§ 8.25[2],
8.30[1], [2], 8.31[2], 8.32 (Matthew Bender)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 115, Civil Rights: Employment
Discrimination, § 115.32[6][a], [b] (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Employment Litigation § 5:40 (Thomson Reuters)

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