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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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How does the Paid Family Disability Leave in California work?

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How does the Paid Family Disability Leave in California work? Am I allowed 4 months off postpartum and is my job protected? Also, am I allowed to apply for another job while on maternity leave (and accept the position)? Will I need to pay back my employer my leave benefits?

Can an employer disqualify me for a job if I apply while pregnant (before maternity leave)?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I think it would be helpful if I address your concerns by providing a concise summary of the applicable rights and protections afforded to pregnant employees in the state of California.

First, Califonria's Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), entitles pregnant women working at companies with 5 or more total employees to up to 4 months of protected job leave due to pregnancy-related disability (i.e. as a result of your pregnancy you are physically incapable of working). It is important to understand that PDLL provides job protection while you are disabled as a result of pregnancy--it doesn't provide any sort of wage replacement when you are gone. PDLL can, however, apply to post-partum depression or other dibilitating medical or mental conditions which arise as a result of birth, so it is not necessarily confined to the pregnancy time period itself.

In addition to PDLL, pregnant employees working at companies of 50 or more employees are entitled to take "baby bonding leave" under the California Family Rights Act. Baby bonding leave doesn't require a showing of "disability"--it is protected job leave, just like PDLL, for an additional 12 weeks after birth. Again, though, PDLL is only available if you work at a company with 50 or more employees. Less than that and you have no entitlement to baby bonding leave.

With regard to wage replacement, California's Paid Family Leave permits employees to obtain up to 6 weeks of partial wage replacement while they are out on pregnancy leave. In order to be eligible for Paid Family Leave, the employee must have contributed to the State Disabilty Fund (SDI), which virtually all employees do. There is a 7 day waiting period for PFL to kick in. See here for more information:'

Paid Family Leave and PDLL run concurrently, so PDLL will protect your job while PFL will provide you with wage replacement while you are gone. CFRA baby bonding leave is in addition to PDLL--they DON'T run concurrently.

With regard to your other questions, employees do not need to pay employers or the state back for wage replacement they receive while absent from work due to their pregnancy. It is also illegla to discriminate against employees on the basis of pregnancy. This is a form of gender discrimination and employers cannot disqualify applicants for a job on the basis of pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy.

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 and kindest regards.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help. Can I apply for a job while on maternity leave and can they disqualify me due to being on leave?


You are very welcome. It is truly my pleasure to assist you.

There is nothing inherently wrong with applying for a job while on maternity leave. However, you can be denied employment if the prospective employer has a legitimate need to fill the position immediately. That no longer amounts to gender/pregnancy discrimination, since there is a business necessity to hire someone as soon as possible.

Again, 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. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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