An Employment Law Office Servicing El Cajon Employees
Stephen Danz and Associates law firm is committed to helping California employees by upholding their employers accountable. By doing so, the firm’s attorneys even the playing field. For instance, when employers, who hold most of the power, discriminate against, harass, retaliate, steal wages, or find other ways to intimidate or wrong an employee, we take a stand by bringing our knowledge and experience. We represent employees throughout California. Our attorneys are experienced labor lawyers with decades of handing wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation in Northern California and Southern California. In El Cajon, California, our lawyers are highly localized and specialized to handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in state and federal courts.
What were the most common disability laws litigated in 2019?
Some of the most common disability laws litigated by our firm in 2019 were the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Another is the right to take pregnancy disability leave under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”). The PDLL is separate and distinct from the right to take a leave of absence as a form of reasonable accommodation under FEHA or the ADA. However, at the end or depletion of an employee’s pregnancy disability leave under the PDLL, an employee who has a physical or mental disability (which may or may not be due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions) may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under one or both of ADA and FEHA.
Who Does the PDLL Apply To?
The PDLL covers employers “regularly employing” five or more full-time or part-time employees. The number of employees “regularly employed” is determined by the number of persons on the payroll, rather than by the number of employees working on any particular day. One other item that we are often asked is where do the employees need to be employed. Our response is that “employer” includes those in the state of California, counties, and any other political or civil subdivision of the state and cities regardless of the number of employees.
The PDLL also covers labor organizations, apprenticeship training programs, training programs leading to employment, employment agencies, school district governing boards, and licensing boards. But, nonprofit religious associations or nonprofit corporations are exempt from coverage.
What Employees are Eligible for Protection under PDLL?
Every employee of a covered employer is eligible for pregnancy disability leave under the PDLL if the employee becomes disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. This includes a transgender employee who is disabled by pregnancy. There is no length-of-service or minimum-hours-worked requirement before an employee is eligible for coverage under the PDLL.
What are Qualifying Reason for Leave under the PDLL?
An employee is entitled to leave under the PDLL when “disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”
Under the PDLL, What is Considered a Disability?
Based on Employee’s Inability to Perform Job
An employee is disabled by pregnancy if, in the opinion of her health care provider, she is unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of her job or is unable to perform those functions without undue risk to herself, to the successful completion of her pregnancy, or to other persons (e.g., the employee works in an environment where she is exposed to chemicals that are potentially harmful to the baby).
Disability Based on Employee’s Health Needs
An employee is disabled by pregnancy if, in the opinion of her health care provider, she is suffering from “severe morning sickness” or needs to take time off for any of the following reasons:
- Prenatal or postnatal care;
- Bed rest;
- Gestational diabetes;
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension;
- Postpartum depression (PPD);
- Loss or end of pregnancy; or
- Recovery from childbirth, loss, or end of pregnancy.
Please note that the regulation emphasizes that this list is intended to be non-exclusive and illustrative only.
Existence of Disability Must Be Determined by Health Care Provider
The need for pregnancy disability leave must be sanctioned by the employee’s health care provider. Under the PDLL, a “health care provider” is any of the following:
- A medical or osteopathic doctor, physician, or surgeon, licensed in California, or in another state or country, who directly treats, or supervises the treatment of, the employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition;
- A marriage and family therapist or acupuncturist, licensed in California or in another state or country;
- Any other persons who meet the definition of “others capable of providing health care services” under the FMLA and its implementing regulations (e.g., nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, licensed midwives, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, chiropractors, physician assistants) who directly treat or supervise the treatment of the employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; or
- A health care provider from whom an employer or a group health plan’s benefits manager will accept medical certification of the existence of a health condition to substantiate a claim for benefits.