Pregnancies are often exciting, but they can also cause expectant mothers to worry about possible complications from their work situation. Mothers often need recovery and rest time after bringing a new life into the world, while fathers can benefit from spending time bonding with their newborns.
However, if you’re afraid of losing your job, you’re much less likely to take time off you need.
In California, you are able to take pregnancy disability leave under two laws:
– the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL)
– the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
#1 Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL)
This leave provides you with up to four months of pregnancy disability leave. You can take leave even if you are a part-time employee, and you are not required to have worked a minimum amount of hours per year.
Please note that non-profit religious organizations are not subject to the PDL.
The PDL Law the parents to take pregnancy disability leave “intermittently.” “Intermittent” leave can mean using the leave for a few hours, days, or weeks at a time, in case it is not necessary to take all four months of leave at once.
#2 Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This provides up to 12 weeks of leave. This leave can include pregnancy disability leave and/or bonding leave. The father can also take leave to care for his pregnant spouse if she has a severe health condition.
If the parents of the newborn are eligible for pregnancy disability leave under the PDL and the FMLA, both programs will run simultaneously. This means that you will only get a total of up to four months of pregnancy disability leave under both laws.
To qualify for FMLA pregnancy disability leave, you (or your partner) must have a pregnancy-related severe health condition, have worked for your company for at least one year, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous year to your license.
Unlike the PDL, you can only take intermittent FMLA leave if medically necessary or if your employer agrees.