California Maternity Leave

Expecting Mothers and Fathers Have Maternity and Paternity Leave Rights 

If you are a pregnant worker in California, you have state and federal employee rights that safeguard your ability to take pregnancy leave without punishment. California is one of the nation’s best states for pregnant workers and workers planning to have or adopt kids. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, a maternity leave attorney at the San Diego employment law firm of Potter Handy, LLP is prepared to help you make sure your employer respects your right to take the disability leave or pregnancy leave you are entitled to under California pregnancy leave laws. 

What are Federal and California Pregnancy Leave Laws?

  • Most workers in the United States only have the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a set of federal laws that govern how much leave employers are required to allow for family and medical reasons. Fortunately, California workers have additional pregnancy labor laws, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Pregnancy Disability Leave law (PDL) and pregnancy disability leave law for paid and unpaid leave. 

How Much Time Off for Pregnancy in California?

Employees working for either a California business with 50 or more staff may qualify for up to seven months off work under California maternity leave laws. However, most individuals do not qualify for all available pregnancy leave. For mothers and fathers, the following pregnancy labor laws govern pregnancy leave in CA: 

  • Family and Medical Leave Act – The FMLA allows for twelve weeks of unpaid time off during a year for child adoption, pregnancy and childbirth for all eligible US employees at most companies. This is typically the best option for fathers seeking paternity leave. The FMLA also provides mothers leave for pregnancy-related medical conditions. 
  • California Family Rights Act – The CFRA takes the place of the FMLA in California. This law also allows employees to take 12 weeks off work, unpaid. This is not in addition to the time off that FMLA offers. The CFRA does not allow employees to use this time for pregnancy disability leave. 
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave – If you become temporarily disabled during or after your pregnancy and unable to perform your work duties, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act provides unpaid maternity disability leave that allows you to take an additional four months off time off work to recover. In some cases, a company’s contracts or policies may entitle employees to use paid vacation time to offset the unpaid pregnancy disability leave law. Some California employers may also have to provide more leave under the PDL if the company provides a longer time off for other types of disability leaves. 
  • Paid Short-Term Disability and Family Leave – By law, most employers in California must carry short-term disability insurance (SDI). SDI allows employees to take paid time off if they are disabled due to pregnancy and childbirth. Paid family leave (PFL) in California for pregnancy may also provide financial benefits from a state insurance fund based on a percentage of your usual earnings for a maximum of six weeks. This may be the best option for workers whose employers do not provide maternity leave pay. 

Can My Employer Deny Maternity Leave?

Ask a San Diego Discrimination Attorney. Our San Diego employment attorneys fight pregnancy discrimination and help employees get the full pregnancy leave they need under California’s uncommon and complex maternity leave laws. We believe that taking care of yourself and your newborn child is incredibly important and want to help you make sure you are able to get the time you deserve for your health and your family.  

Contact our law office by calling or submitting a free claim consultation form to speak with a pregnancy discrimination attorney in San Diego today.