Things to Know About California Maternity and Paternity Leave

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: October 26, 2020

New parents are allowed to take time off from work to care for their new baby. In California, state laws protect employees from unjust treatment at work.

If your employer has discriminated against you for taking maternity or paternity leave, you need a discrimination attorney to fight for your rights.

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) allows pregnant employees to take time away from work when they are unable to work due to their pregnancy status. Pregnant California employees can take up to four months of unpaid leave if they are physically or mentally disabled as a result of the pregnancy, birth, or a related medical condition. Both full-time and part-time employees can qualify for PDL. New employees can also qualify for pregnancy leave.

PDL applies to employers with at least five employees (although some religious nonprofits may be exempted).

Most employees qualify for PDL about four weeks before their expected due date (or by week 36). Upon the end of leave, employees must be able to return to the same or a similar job unless there is a genuine business reason the employer cannot do so. If an employer refuses, they could be violating California discrimination laws. 

Family (or Baby Bonding) Leave 

Otherwise known as baby bonding leave, family leave is time to bond with a new child while the employee is away from work. The New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) protects female, male, nonbinary, and trans employees. In one year, employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave if they meet certain requirements including:

The employee gave birth to a new child or adopted a new child.

The employee worked for the employer for at least 1,250 in the past 12 months.

The employee has worked for the employer for more than 12 months before taking family leave.

The employer has more than 20 employees within 75 miles of the work location.

Family leave can be taken all at once or in increments throughout the year. Once the leave ends, the employer must give the employee the same or a similar job upon their return to work. Failure to do so may be considered a form of pregnancy discrimination.

Reasonable Accommodation Leave

Reasonable accommodation leave gives disabled employees time to recover or get treatment. New parents or pregnant employees may be eligible for reasonable accommodation leave if certain requirements are met including the employee is unable to perform essential job functions due to a mental or physical disability.

In addition to reasonable accommodation leave, eligible employees can also take PDL and family leave. Depending on the employer, the time off may be unpaid or paid.

Contact a Los Angeles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Today

California laws protect new mothers and fathers from discrimination at work. If you’ve noticed any signs of maternity or paternity discrimination, you have the right to file a claim against those at fault.

An experienced and compassionate discrimination lawyer will fight for your rights and can help get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact Mesriani Law Group today to speak with an attorney about your potential case.