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Types of Leave Protections

Instructor: A. Casey Carr-Jones

Casey Carr-Jones holds a Bachelor's degree in English & Psychology. She is currently a PHR-certified Human Resources Consultant.

Different states have different leave protections for their workers. This lesson discusses Pregnancy Disability Leave, the California Family Rights Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as the posting requirements.

State Leave Protection

Kate, an accountant, sits down for a meeting with her HR manager, Jane. 'Jane, I'm pregnant! I'm due in May!' says Kate. 'How wonderful!' Jane replies. 'Now let's discuss the terms of your leave and your health insurance.'

Jane is about to walk Kate through her rights for both federal and state leave programs, because it can get confusing as different states offer different leave protection for employees. In the state of California, the government has enacted special leave requirements for their workers. These types of leave are Pregnancy Disability Leave and the California Family Rights Act, and are in conjunction with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

In California, it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on pregnancy. Unlawful discrimination includes negative actions towards compensation, working conditions, or revoking other privileges of employment.

In the event of pregnancy, the employee must notify her employer at least 30 days before the date the pregnancy disability begins. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) begins when a woman is disabled, which includes time off to prenatal and postnatal care, mandatory bed rest, severe morning sickness, childbirth, and recovery. Pregnancy leave also covers loss or end of a pregnancy, or any other related medical condition. Employees are entitled to up to four months of pregnancy leave (or more, if the employer has longer leave periods for other types of disabilities).

California Family Rights Act

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) protects the rights of workers for the birth of a child, for adopting or fostering a child, for the serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent, or for the employee's own health condition. This is an unpaid leave that protects their job and the ability to maintain health insurance, for a maximum of 12 weeks in any 12 month period. At the end of leave, the employer must reinstate the employee to the same position or a comparable position.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is similar to the California Family Rights Act, but is a federally mandated protected leave. FMLA covers employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave with continued health insurance coverage for a maximum of 12 weeks in any 12 month period. FMLA is leave for the birth of a child, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care, for the serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent, or the the employee's own serious health condition.

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