Pregnancy Disability Leave in California
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What is a Pregnancy Disability Leave?
Under California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL), employees may choose to take a leave for conditions associated with pregnancy. This law provides for work-protected leave that can be taken before or after an employee's childbirth.
An employer may not discriminate based upon an employee’s need for maternity leave. Further, an employer may be required to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation because pregnancy-related condition may qualify as disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Pregnant employees should not hesitate to demand appropriate pregnancy and family leaves since their rights are clearly protected by state and federal statutes.
Who are the Qualified Employees and Employers?
Under California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, an employee may be allowed to take a paid leave. This law applies to employers who employ five or more individuals. Further, under PDL, an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or associated condition should be disabling for qualified employee.
How Do I Know if my Rights have been Violated?
An employer can violate the pregnancy disability leave when he or she:
- Refuses to provide leave for eligible employees
- Fails to provide reasonable accommodation
- Termination of an employee on pregnancy disability leave
- Forces employee to use up accrued vacation time towards pregnancy disability leave
Taking Pregnancy Disability Leave: What are some Basic Things I Need to Know?
California's laws concerning pregnancy disability leave provide for a four month leave for disabling conditions associated with pregnancy. Health care provider's certification of pregnancy disability leave is necessary. Employee must either give a 30-day advance notice for a foreseeable leave, or provide such notice when practical for an unforeseeable one. The leave doesn't depend on the employment's length.
What's the Good News in California?
Effective December 30, 2012, the new PDL regulations protect non-pregnant employees who experience discrimination because employer perceive them to be pregnant. Such discrimination includes forcing an employee to take pregnancy leave. Under new regulations, employees are allowed to take PDL leave on a per-pregnancy rather than an annual basis. Employers defenses to their alleged inability to reinstate returning employees had been limited. Employers claiming inability to place returning employees to previous positions must give a notice of similar open positions for 60 days after the scheduled reinstatement date. Further, employees' health benefits must continue during the leave. Other changes in definition and calculations of the four month leave period demand special attention.
Should I Consult an Attorney about Pregnancy Disability Leave?
If you suspect that your pregnancy leave rights have been violated, your best interests will be served by consulting an employment attorney. Besides filing a private suit, you may also file a complaint of discrimination with California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. However, consulting an attorney will shed more light on available courses of action.
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Last Modified: 07-29-2013 01:00 PM PDT
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