CA Supreme Court Rules on California Family Rights Act Issues

So, Lonicki was an employee claiming major depression and work-related stress stopped coming to work and requested medical leave. In the employer’s view, the employee did not have a serious health condition and was capable of performing her duties. The employer ordered the employee to return to work, and fired her when she did not. The twist: While taking FMLA/CFRA leave, she worked for another employer. While her other job was not identical, there was a substantial overlap.
The Supreme Court considered two issues: First, could the employer just fire Lonicki without seeking additional medical certifications as provided by the CFRA statute? The court concluded (6-1) that employers need not do so. Justice Moreno, though, said that the employer must follow that procedure before denying leave based on an employer's belief that the employee is not eligible for leave.
The second issue is the one that got the headlines: If an employee seeks FMLA/CFRA leave for her own health condition, and she works another job, does she really have a serious health condition? Here, the Supreme Court split 4-3 that she MIGHT. The court decided that working another position is evidence that the employee's condition might not qualify for FMLA or CFRA. But the Court refused to hold that working in a comparable job was "conclusive" evidence no serious health condition justified leave. So, off to trial with Lonicki and her employer.

The case is Lonicki v. Sutter Health Central and the opinion is here.