There are provisions within the California Fair Employment and Housing Act that guarantee work leave for those who have suffered a disability from pregnancy, giving birth, or any accompanying health problem. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is in charge of enforcing this act.
Employees have a right to know
Pregnancy disability leave information must be posted in a way that’s easy for workers to notice. Employees have the right to know their right to pregnancy disability leave, and it is the employer’s duty to provide this information. This information also must be included in any handbooks that a company gives out to its employees.
When a worker has experienced a disability that’s related to a pregnancy, giving birth, or any other resultant condition, California’s pregnancy disability law entitles them to work leave for as much as four months. Some employers’ policies may go above and beyond this four-month requirement when a worker becomes temporarily disabled from something other than pregnancy. When that’s the case, the leave that workers are entitled to for pregnancy-related disability and medical conditions must match this policy.
When can an employee take PDL?
Employees can take their pregnancy leave whenever they’re experiencing physical disabilities making it impossible to perform the duties of their job, whether it’s prior to the birth or after. The total amount of leave taken related to the pregnancy goes towards the four-month maximum.
Pregnancy disability leave is often taken when the pregnancy ends to accommodate the recovery needed after giving birth, particularly if the baby is lost. Examples of common pregnancy-related temporary disabilities requiring time off from work include:
- Prenatal care
- Morning sickness
- Bed rest ordered by a doctor
- Postnatal care
Employees also have obligations of their own relating to this leave. Whenever they can, the worker should let their employer know 30 days prior to the period of leave they are requesting for their pregnancy disability. This isn’t always possible, of course. In the cases of medical emergencies and similar situations, the employee is expected to inform their employer as soon as possible.