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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Physician took employee off work 6/11/13 due to high risk pregnancy.

Resolved Question:

Physician took employee off work 6/11/13 due to high risk pregnancy. Baby born 7/3/13. Employee is utilizing FMLA, CFRA and PDL. What date is she to return to work since she is allowed 4 months? Is this from the 6/11/13 date so she returns on 10/11/13? Some of these programs run concurrently and others not, a bit confusing. Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. You are absolutely correct that the interplay between these laws is confusing. It would be my pleasure to assist you in understanding how the pieces fit together.

First of all, you are leaving out one of the most important leave entitlements, which is "baby bonding" leave afforded to employers who are covered under the CFRA. Baby bonding leave is the only form of leave which does not run concurrent with the others. PDL and FMLA/CFRA for "serious health conditions" all require the pregnant/recently-pregnant employee to demonstrate that they are suffering from a disabling health condition. Disabling health conditions can continue after pregnancy, but obviously this is on a case-by-case basis.

Under the circumsrtances you describe, the mother would be entitled to PDL/CFRA/FMLA for a disabling/serious health condition for the SHORTER of either (1) the duration of their disabling condition or 12 weeks. As soon as their physician stops certifying their disability, they are no longer eligible for these leave entitlements.

However, that's when "baby bonding" leave under the CFRA kicks in. This provides an ADDITIONAL 12 weeks of protected leave that begins running as soon as the other forms of leave run out.

So, putting this all together, the mother in your example would be entitled to PDL/FMLA/CFRA for disabling pregnancy-related conditions for the shorter of 12 weeks or the duration of their actual disbility. Once that period of time ends, they would be entitled to an additional 12 weeks of baby bonding leave.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am still trying to digest this information. Your response indicates that this person, who had a C-section, and is still under a doctors care for a total of 8 weeks, is entitlted to 12 more weeks under CFRA for a total of 20 weeks after the birth of the baby?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Debbie,

Thank you very much for your reply. It's confusing to understand, so my apologies.

Basically, the mother has the shorter of either (a) 12 weeks from 6/11/13; or (b) until the mother's doctor no longer considers the mother to be suffering from a disabling condition.

After this, the mother has an additional 12 weeks of protected job leave for baby bonding under the CFRA.

Does that make more sense? So, under your particular example, if the mother is only under the doctor's care (and presumably "disabled") for 8 weeks, she would have the 8 weeks plus the additional 12 weeks of baby bonding leave, for a total of 20 weeks, as you have stated.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I edited my answer to include the following additional sentence:

"So, under your particular example, if the mother is only under the doctor's care (and presumably "disabled") for 8 weeks, she would have the 8 weeks plus the additional 12 weeks of baby bonding leave, for a total of 20 weeks, as you have stated."

I'm not sure if you viewed my answer before I made the edit, so I am including it for you again here.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7650
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Patrick, Esq.
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