What are Federal and California Pregnancy Leave Laws?
Let our Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyers Explain
Pregnancy Disability Leave
An employer must provide up to four months disability leave for a woman who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. However, if an employer provides more than four months of leave for other types of temporary disabilities, the same leave must be made available to women who are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
Eligibility for pregnancy leave
A woman who works for a covered employer is eligible for pregnancy disability leave regardless of the length of time she has worked for the employer. Further, an employee does not have to work full-time in order to be eligible.
Conditions for which a leave may be taken
Pregnancy leave is required only when a woman is actually disabled by her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This includes time off needed for prenatal care, severe morning sickness, doctor-ordered bed rest, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, and any related medical condition. A woman does not have to be completely incapacitated or confined to her bed to qualify as being disabled by pregnancy. However, as a general rule, a woman must be unable to perform one or more essential functions of her job without undue risk to herself or to other persons or without undue risk to successful completion of her pregnancy. It is the medical opinion of the woman’s physician or health care provider that determines whether she is disabled by pregnancy or a related medical condition.
Leave does not have to be taken at one time
Leave taken for pregnancy disability does not have to be taken at one time. Leave can be taken before or after birth or at any period of time that the woman is physically unable to work because of the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. Periods of leave may be totaled in computing the four months of leave.
Periodic absences for pregnancy-related illnesses
Periodic absences for pregnancy-related illness of limited duration taken prior to an actual leave may be subtracted from the four months of disability leave for pregnancy. However, if the employer does not subtract intermittent leave from other types of disability leave, the employer may not subtract from pregnancy disability leave.
Pregnancy disability leave and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) leave
A woman who takes a pregnancy disability leave is also entitled to take a CFRA leave if she meets the eligibility requirements for a CFRA leave. That means that a woman who is eligible for CFRA leave could take up to four months of pregnancy disability leave for her pregnancy disability and could also be entitled to up to 12 weeks of CFRA leave to bond with the baby, or for another CFRA qualifying event such as to bond with an adopted child, or to care for a parent, spouse or child with a serious health condition.
Intermittent leave or reduced work schedule
If a woman’s health care provider indicates that intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule is medically advisable and foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, an employer may require the employee to transfer to an alternative position. The alternative position must better accommodate recurring periods of leave than does the employee’s regular job. Although the alternative position need not have equivalent duties, it must have an equivalent rate of pay and benefits and the employee must be qualified for the position. Transfer to an alternative position may include altering an existing position to accommodate the employee’s need for intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to a pregnant employee when requested, with the advice of her health care provider, related to her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.
If you are a victim of Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, contact a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer at our law firm today to set up a consultation. We help victims of discrimination in the workplace, including pregnancy discrimination and pregnancy leave discrimination. Our Los Angeles discrimination attorney gives clients information about what to do if they encounter pregnancy discrimination at work.