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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111467
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I had a baby in June 2015. During my pregnant my doctor put

Customer Question

Hi, I had a baby in June 2015. During my pregnant my doctor put me out for 2 weeks 4 days due to pregnancy related surgery/complications back end of Jan/1st week of Feb 2015. I went back to work Feb 9th and worked till June 12 then had another pregnancy
related surgery June 15 after which my doctor put out of work then had my baby via c-section on June 24. My understanding was I would get 8 wks of disability (due to c-section) and then 12 weeks of bonding afterwards. My employer is now telling me that my
CFRA was running concurrently with my medical FMLA when I was pregnant in Jan/Feb so I have only 9 wks 3 days of bonding time and to return to work otherwise I would be terminated because my job would not be protected. Is this accurate, how could I have been
using my bonding time when I was still pregnant. With my prior pregnancies, I had been out on bedrest for 6 months before baby was born and the second one for 6 weeks before baby was born and still had my 12 weeks of bonding time. Did the laws change since
2012/2013? I am really confused? Where they suppose to use my FMLA in Jan/Feb or pregnancy disability? Can you explain the differences, some women have complications during pregnancies, are they penalized for this after the baby is born by decreasing bonding
time? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Under CA law, "If an employee taking pregnancy disability leave under California law (see the next paragraph) is eligible for FMLA leave, the pregnancy disability leave period and FMLA run concurrently. At the conclusion of the pregnancy disability leave period, or at the end of four months of pregnancy disability leave, whichever occurs first, the employee may take a new-child bonding leave under CFRA for up to 12 workweeks (provided she did not use CFRA leave in the preceding 12-month period)." - See: http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/californiadifferencecfrafmla.aspx#sthash.1YghY2pF.dpuf

So while your employer may have given you more time last time, the law says FMLA/CFRA run concurrently and you can see that here as well: http://www.employers.org/files/resources/Leave_of_Absence_FMLA_qualifying_inc_Pregnancy.pdf

Complications from pregnancy are not covered under CFRA they come under FMLA, you can have 12 weeks baby bonding separate according to the CA laws, that is separate from FMLA as you can see at the above link.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am still not clear, are you saying that I would still be eligible for the full 12 weeks of CFRA after the disability period is over? You say that FMLA/CFRA run concurrently which is what my employer is saying. So the explanation I was given was that while I was out in Jan for pregnancy complications, my CFRA was running concurrently so I used up 2 wks of my CFRA time as well. Pls clarify do I still have the 12 weeks of bonding or not? And if I don't, how do women who have complications during pregnancy still get their bonding time afterwards? Does FMLA have to used during the pregnancy for leaves or would pregnancy disability still suffice alone so that FMLA is not touched till when the woman goes out to have the baby?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If you were out for a pregnancy disability, which CFRA does not cover, then the entire 12 weeks is available, but the FMLA/CFRA run concurrent from the time you go into labor, so that time can come off your CFRA.

I cannot explain your employer's previous actions in your prior pregnancy. However, the CFRA is clear it does not cover the pregnancy complications as stated above, that is under FMLA. FMLA has to apply if the employer chooses and the employee is out on leave. You are not going to force the employer to give you 24 weeks of leave at your pleasure I am afraid, that is not how the law is set up, but here it seems they are miscalculating by adding your time for the complications into the mix, because CFRA does not apply to that time and that should be added back for you to take time for bonding.

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