If you’re expecting a baby and live in California, you may be wondering about your rights when it comes to taking time off work for pregnancy and childbirth. The good news is that the state of California offers some protections for pregnant workers. Here’s what you need to know about taking time off work for pregnancy and childbirth in California.
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Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave for certain specified family and medical reasons. These include, for example, the birth of a child or the serious illness of a family member. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees, and employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (although not necessarily consecutive months) to be eligible.
In addition to the FMLA, many states have their own laws governing pregnancy and other types of family leave. These laws may provide employees with additional rights beyond those guaranteed by the FMLA. For example, in California, eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and bonding with a new child. California’s law applies to employers with 5 or more employees, and employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months (again, not necessarily consecutive months) to be eligible.
So, if you live in California and you work for an employer with at least 5 employees, you may be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and bonding with a new child—even if your employer is not covered by the FMLA.
What are the requirements to get benefits for pregnancy and childbirth in California?
In order to be eligible for benefits related to pregnancy and childbirth in California, you must work a minimum of 80 hours during the base period prior to your application.
How long do I have to work before I can get benefits?
To qualify for benefits, you must have worked at least 3 months in the 12 months before your baby is born. If you have not worked 3 months before your baby is born, you can still qualify if:
-You are married to someone who has, or
-You are pregnant as a result of rape or incest
What if I don’t meet the work requirement?
If you don’t meet the work requirement, you may still be able to get Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) and/or Family and Medical Leave (FML).
PDL is a leave of absence that can last up to four months. Employers with five or more employees must provide PDL. Employers with fewer than five employees are not required to provide PDL, but they may choose to do so.
FML is a leave of absence that can last up to three months. federal law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide FML. California law requires employers with five or more employees to provide FML.
What other benefits can I get while pregnant?
In addition to paidfamily leave, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits through the state of California. These benefits are available to women who are unable to work due to a pregnancy-related condition, and can be used for up to four weeks prior to the expected date of childbirth. To learn more about short-term disability benefits, or to apply for these benefits, please visit the California Employment Development Department website.
What if I’m not eligible for benefits?
There are a few conditions that could make you ineligible for these types of benefits. For example, if you are unemployed but have not lost your job due to pregnancy or childbirth, you will not be eligible for these benefits. In addition, if you are self-employed or do not have a valid work history in the state of California, you will also not be eligible for these benefits.