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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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in CA, how much Protected leave (job security) can someone

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in CA, how much Protected leave (job security) can someone take for pregnancy? I'm so confused with Pregnancy Disability leave, FMLA, CFRA, Baby Bonding time, how many weeks, how long my job is protected.. I'm so confused.

I am a non-exempt, regular, full-time employee who works 40+ hours a week for a Fortune 500 company and have worked there going on 2 years.

can you assist with helping me understand? my HR said i have 6 weeks, and can request 6 more weeks for a total of 12 weeks, but other places say 4 months protected leave, and my friend (different company) took 6 months of protected leave.

Lost in CA.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service.

It's strange that HR told you only have 6 weeks and can apply for 6 more. Under both the Family Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for pregnancy.

You are also eligible to receive disability payments for six of those weeks from State Disability Insurance (55% of your income).

However, when a woman is 'disabled by pregnancy' she is entitled to up to four months of unpaid leave. This is on top of the 12 weeks that you get from the California Family Rights Act, so you would be entitled to up to seven months of job protected leave if you avail yourself of both programs.

Also 'disabled by pregnancy' is broadly defined, so you would likely qualify, for reasons including, baby bonding.

See this website for more information:

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Thanks and best of luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you,


So I read correctly, PDL is separate from FMLA/CFRA. But do both provide "protected" leave from termination? If so which one? My greatest concern is having employment when I return from leave. I will only take the time off work that my employment is protected.


from the document you shared. Would PDL be available after delivery? Basically, could I use up to 7 months AFTER delivery? And how would I request it? And again, would my job be protected for the entire 7 month duration?


given this, do you have to apply for one then the other? And which is generally first?


thank you so much for your help!


Hello Danielle,

Both CFRA and PDL provide for protected leave. CFRA provides an employee with 12 weeks of protected leave and PDL provides employees with an additional 4 months of protected leave. So there is a total of 7 months of leave if you were to use both programs.

You can use up to seven months after pregnancy, since PDL and CFRA both allow protected leave for baby bonding.

As with CFRA, you should request PDL through your employer's HR department, informing them of your intent to take the leave prior to taking the leave to ensure that it is approved prior to you taking leave.

You would typically apply for CFRA first. Then when the 12 weeks are coming to a close, you would apply for pregnancy disability leave to extend your job protected leave.

I hope the above information helps!
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Danielle,

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