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Know Your California Maternity Leave Rights

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, when trying to navigate how much time to take off work, it can be challenging to navigate. Employers are not always upfront about how much time you can take off without penalty. You must know your California maternity leave rights so you can make an informed decision.

Different Types of Leave

In California, there are different types of leave that you may have available to you. The three examples of leave include:

  • Disability leave

  • Family leave

  • Accommodation Leave

Depending on the circumstances of your pregnancy, you may have access to all or some of these leave options. Disability leave may be taken up to four months if there is a disability relating to the pregnancy. For those employees who work for medium or large companies, you can take up to 12 weeks of family leave (FMLA/ CFRA) to bond with your child. Reasonable accommodation leave may be given in addition to disability and/or FMLA by employers. This is discretionary and not mandatory.

Will I Be Paid During Maternity Leave?

Generally, employers are not required to provide employees paid maternity leave. However, you still may be able to be paid during leave in some respects. Your medical benefits are required to be maintained during your maternity leave. You also may be able to receive state disability insurance (SDI) during your leave, as recovering from birth is considered a temporary disability. SDI will only pay a portion of an employee’s wages, which will vary depending on your pay.

Additionally, some employees are eligible for paid family leave to bond with their child. Under the Paid Family Leave Act, you can receive partial pay for up to six weeks. It is available to employees for the first 12 months of the child’s arrival.

Aside from SDI and PFL, you may also be eligible to use vacation, sick pay, or other paid time off that you have accrued. Speak with your HR department before taking time off to determine the best way to ensure you will be paid during your maternity leave.

If you have been fired or penalized for taking time off due to pregnancy disability or birth, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman at 415 545 8608 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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