Exclusively Employment Law

Pregnancy Leave in California: 7 Things You Should Know

by | Aug 20, 2018 | Leave of Absence

Generally speaking, under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”), employees who are “disabled by pregnancy” are entitled to up to four months of job-protected leave. Below are seven things you should know about your rights under California’s PDLL:

No. 1: The PDLL covers all California employers (including state and local government employers) with at least five full- or part-time employees.

No. 2: The PDLL has no length of service requirement. In other words, if you work for a covered employer, you would be eligible for leave under the PDLL starting on your first day at work.

No. 3: The PDLL defines “disabled by pregnancy” broadly. An employee is “disabled by pregnancy” if, in her health care provider’s opinion, she is “unable because of pregnancy to perform any one or more of the essential functions of her job or to perform any of these functions without undue risk to herself, to her pregnancy’s successful completion, or to other persons.” (2 CCR Section 11035(f).)

An employee also may be considered to be “disabled by pregnancy” if, in her health care provider’s opinion, she is suffering from severe morning sickness or needs to take time off for prenatal or postnatal care; bed rest; gestational diabetes; pregnancy-induced hypertension; preeclampsia; post-partum depression; childbirth; loss or end of pregnancy; or recovery from childbirth, loss or end of pregnancy. (Id.) In other words, an employee need not be confined to her bed or be completely incapacitated to be considered “disabled by pregnancy” under the PDLL, but must simply show that she falls within the above-referenced broad definition.

No. 4: An employee is eligible for up to four months of leave per pregnancy, not per year.

No. 5: The leave can be taken before or after childbirth.

No. 6: The employee need not take the leave in one continuous period, but instead, can take the leave intermittently (e.g., because of episodes of a pregnancy-related disability or to attend doctor’s appointments).

No. 7: As a condition to granting leave, an employer is permitted to require a written medical certification from an employee seeking leave under the PDLL. The medical certification (completed by the employee’s health care provider) is deemed sufficient if it contains: (a) a statement that the employee needs to take pregnancy disability leave because she is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; (b) the date on which the employee became disabled because of pregnancy; and (c) the estimated duration of the leave.

If you have questions about California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.