Pregnancy Disability Leave in California

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What is Pregnancy Disability Leave?

Under the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL), employees may 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. An employer may also need to provide leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees may take leave under the ADA if their pregnancy conditions qualify as disability. Pregnant employees should not hesitate to demand appropriate pregnancy and family leave. Pregnancy leave is a right that is protected by state and federal statutes.

What Is Pregnancy Disability Leave?

California Pregnancy Disability Leave allows employees to take 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. Employers may also be required to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), pregnancy-related conditions may qualify as disabilities. Pregnant employees should not hesitate to demand appropriate pregnancy. State and federal statutes protect their rights.

Who Are the Qualified Employees and Employers?

Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, an employee may be allowed to take a paid leave. This law applies to employers who have five or more employees. Under the pregnancy disability leave laws, the following may be considered disabling:

How Do I Know if my Rights have been Violated?

An employer can violate the pregnancy disability leave when he or she:

Taking Pregnancy Disability Leave: What are some Basic Things I Need to Know?

California laws provide four months leave for disabling conditions associated with pregnancy. A health care provider's certification for pregnancy disability leave is necessary. Employees 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?

Since December 30, 2012, PDL regulations expanded to protect non-pregnant employees. The protection is specific to employees that are discriminated because employers perceive them to be pregnant. Under new regulations, employees are allowed to take PDL leave on a per-pregnancy rather than an annual basis.

Employers that cannot return employees to their original positions must give them notice about other similar positions.  Usually, notice must be given 60 days after the scheduled reinstatement date. Also, 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?

Yes. If your pregnancy leave rights have been violated, it is in your best interest to talk to an employment attorney. Besides filing a private suit, you may also file a complaint of discrimination with California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

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Last Modified: 06-17-2015 08:47 PM PDT

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