Who Is Eligible for Maternity and Paternity Leave Under the CFRA?
Who Is Eligible for Maternity and Paternity Leave Under the CFRA?

Who Is Eligible for Maternity and Paternity Leave Under the CFRA?

California maintains progressive employment laws, particularly in the arena of maternity and paternity leave. The Golden State’s commitment to supporting families during these pivotal moments is evident through its comprehensive legislation that protects employees’ rights. At Minnis & Smallets LLP, we recognize the importance of understanding one’s rights under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to guiding employees through the complexities of CFRA eligibility and ensuring their rights are protected.

Eligibility for Maternity and Paternity Leave Under the CFRA

The CFRA is designed to offer job-protected leave to parents welcoming a new child, whether through birth, adoption or foster care placement. This inclusive legislation supports equal opportunities for baby-bonding time across diverse family structures.

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • New Parenthood: The CFRA extends its benefits to those welcoming a new child into their family.
  • Employment Duration: To qualify, an individual must have been employed with their current employer for at least one year prior to the start of the leave.
  • Hours Worked: Eligibility requires having worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave.
  • Employer Size: The employer must have at least five employees to be covered under the CFRA.

During this 12-week period, employers are mandated to continue providing any health care benefits at the same level as if the employee was working. Upon returning from CFRA leave, employees are entitled to resume their previous position or a similar role, ensuring job security after they leave.

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) in California

In addition to the CFRA, California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law offers specific protections for pregnancy-related disabilities. This law allows for up to four months of unpaid leave per pregnancy, provided that a doctor certifies the inability to perform at least one essential job function due to pregnancy.

Eligibility for PDL:

  • Pregnancy Disability: Qualification is based on having a pregnancy-related disability certified by a doctor.
  • Employer Size: Similar to CFRA, the employer must have at least five employees to be eligible for PDL.

Conditions such as severe morning sickness, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and postpartum depression are among the disabilities that typically qualify for PDL. This leave is distinct from CFRA leave and can be combined for a more extended period of absence, offering substantial support during and after pregnancy.

How Minnis & Smallets LLP Can Assist Employees

Navigating the intricacies of maternity and paternity leave laws can be daunting. At Minnis & Smallets LLP, our experience lies in guiding Bay Area and California employees through these legal landscapes. We pride ourselves on offering personal attention and crafting strategies tailored to each client’s unique situation. Whether through negotiation, mediation or court proceedings, our goal is to ensure that employees’ rights are upheld and that they receive the leave they’re entitled to.

Consult With a Knowledgeable Employment Attorney

Understanding one’s rights under the CFRA and PDL is crucial for any expecting parent in California. These laws provide substantial support during this transformative phase of life, ensuring that employees can focus on their new family member without undue stress about their employment status. If employees have questions about their eligibility for maternity or paternity leave or if they need assistance navigating these laws, contact Minnis & Smallets LLP. Our team of experienced employment attorneys helps ensure that the rights of employees are protected and that they can embrace their new family role with peace of mind.

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