Encinitas California Employment Attorneys
When California employers unlawfully fail to obey by federal and state laws and regulations, Stephen Danz and Associates step in to take appropriate legal action. As one of the prominent law firms in California handling workplace harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation, our firm is proud to step in and speak on behalf of California employees. This year, we celebrate four decades of unrelenting service for employees throughout California. Our attorneys cover cities in Northern California and Southern California as the State’s courts are as specialized and diverse as the State’s landscape. In Encinitas, California, our legal advisors are highly specialized and handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts.
What is the Length of Leave Under the PDLL?
“Reasonable Period” Up to 4 Months: Under the PDLL, an employer must allow an employee who is “actually disabled” by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition to take leave for a “reasonable period of time” up to 4 months even if the employer has a less generous leave policy for other similarly situated temporarily disabled employees. Specifically, the PDLL “does not compel California employers to treat pregnant workers better than other disabled employees; it merely establishes benefits that employers must, at a minimum, provide to pregnant workers”). Pregnancy disability leave need not be taken in one continuous period of time.
Per Pregnancy, Not Per Year
The PDLL’s 4-month leave entitlement is per pregnancy, not per year. It is therefore possible for an employee to take more than 4 months of pregnancy disability leave within a 12-month period, a situation that may present calculation and tracking difficulties if the employer is running FMLA leave concurrently with the employee’s pregnancy disability leave.
What is the Relationship between PDLL and FMLA, CFRA, and NPLA?
FMLA. Since leave due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition can be taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) as a “serious health condition,” an employer may count the leave taken under the PDLL against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement, i.e., the employer may choose to run the PDLL and FMLA leaves concurrently. However, the employer may only do this if the employer is covered by the FMLA, the employee is an eligible employee under the FMLA, and all other FMLA requirements have been met, e.g., proper designation of the leave as FMLA leave. For the FMLA’s requirements.
CFRA. Pregnancy-related leaves are specifically excluded from coverage under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). Leave under the CFRA, however, may be taken for baby bonding following the birth of the employee’s child. Thus, CFRA leave for baby bonding begins only when the employee’s PDLL leave ends, which occurs when the employee’s health care provider determines that she is no longer disabled, i.e., she can perform the essential functions of her job without undue risk to herself.
How to Calculate Leave Entitlement under the PDLL?
Leave entitlement is determined by the employee’s normal work schedule. The general rule under the PDLL is that a pregnant employee may take up to 4 months of leave. In practice, how much leave time this entitles an employee to take may or may not literally correspond to 4 calendar months because the entitlement is determined by the number of days or hours that the employee would normally work within the 4 calendar months. For example, leave may be one third of a year or 17–1/3 weeks following the date that the leave begins. One of our clients was a full-time employee who worked a typical 40-hour workweek. Therefore, she was entitled to 693 hours of pregnancy disability leave (40 hours × 17–1/3 weeks), while a part-time employee client who worked only a 20-hour workweek was entitled to only 346.5 hours of leave. Please also bear in mind that this also means that an employee who normally works a 48-hour workweek would be entitled to 832 hours of leave. For an employee whose schedule varies from month to month, the entitlement is based on a monthly average of the hours worked over the 4 months before the leave begins.
What is Intermittent or Reduced-Schedule Leave?
Pregnancy disability leave may be taken intermittently (e.g., for a regularly scheduled medical appointment or as needed because of severe morning sickness) or on a reduced work schedule. In fact, the employer may account for intermittent leave in increments no bigger than the shortest period of time that the employer’s payroll system uses to account for other types of leave, provided that is not longer than 1 hour. For example, if an employer accounts for sick leave in 30-minute increments and vacation time in 1-hour increments, the employer must account for pregnancy disability leave in increments of 30 minutes or less. Alternatively, if an employer accounts for all forms of leave in 2-hour increments, the employer must account for pregnancy disability leave in increments no greater than 1 hour.