Oakland Pregnancy Leave Claim Lawyer
While pregnancy may is a joyful time for many expectant mothers, unfortunately, sometimes pregnant women experience pregnancy-related disabilities that affect their ability to perform their job duties. State and federal law requires most California employers to offer qualified workers reasonable accommodations, including leave from work, to deal with a temporary disability arising from pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions. If an employer has unlawfully denied an employee’s pregnancy leave claim, the attorneys at Minnis & Smallets, LLP can help. We assist clients throughout the Oakland area in asserting their rights and taking appropriate action against employers who are not following the law.
What Are My Rights as a Pregnant Worker in California?
Pregnancy leave is a complex issue. California actually provides significantly more leave rights than federal law. Yet it is important to understand both. Here is a brief overview of the laws protecting pregnant worker in Oakland, California:
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): This is the principal federal statute governing employee leave rights. FMLA allows an eligible worker to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per 12-month period to deal with the birth and care of a newborn. To qualify for FMLA leave, an employee must work for an employee with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the employee’s job site; have worked for the employer for a year or more; and have worked 1250 hours or more for the employer within the year preceding the requested leave. FMLA leave can also be used for other qualifying medical and family conditions as well; it is not exclusively available for pregnancy leave. And FMLA leave is unpaid–an employer does not have to pay the employee during the 12-week leave period, although it does protect the employee’s job (and any employer-provided health insurance) while the employee is away. However, an employee may also receive paid vacation time or partial wage replacement benefits under State Disability Insurance.
- California Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL): California requires all employers (with at least five employees) to offer PDL. This means that if the employee’s doctor certifies she is unable to perform an essential function of her job due to a pregnancy-related physical or mental condition, the employer must allow up to four months of Pregnancy Disability Leave. While on PDL, an employee may receive paid vacation time or partial wage replacement benefits under State Disability Insurance. If an employee is disabled for longer than four months, the employee may also be entitled to a disability leave under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
- California Family Rights Act (CFRA): If an employee has a new child, the CFRA allows for up to 12 weeks of “bonding leave” during the first year following the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. This leave can be taken in two-week blocks rather than all at once and is in addition to any leave under PDL and FMLA. Employers are not required to pay employees who take bonding leave, although an employee may use paid vacation or sick leave days.
When Should an Employee Contact an Oakland Pregnancy Leave Lawyer?
Many employees are not fully aware of their rights to pregnancy leave. This makes them susceptible to interference from employers who may try to skirt the law or deprive an employee of his or her full leave rights. If you have any questions or concerns about whether your own workplace is complying with the laws governing pregnancy leave, contact Minnis & Smallets, LLP, today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.