Laws You Should Know – Government Code § 12945 – This is CA’s main pregnancy disability leave statute. We have an entire webpage dedicated to pregnancy disability leave that is far more detailed that this.
According to § 12945:
It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to allow a female employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition to take a leave for a reasonable period of time not to exceed four months and thereafter return to work. Reasonable period of time means that period during which the female employee is disabled on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. An employer may require an employee who plans to take a leave pursuant to this subdivision to give the employer reasonable notice of the date the leave shall commence and the estimated duration of the leave.
It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to maintain and pay for coverage for an eligible female employee who takes pregnancy disability leave under a group health plan for the duration of the leave, not to exceed four months over the course of a 12-month period, at the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave. The employer may recover from the employee the premium that the employer paid under this subdivision for maintaining coverage for the employee if certain conditions occur.
It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee for a condition related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, if she so requests, with the advice of her health care provider.
It is unlawful for an employer who has a policy, practice, or collective bargaining agreement requiring or authorizing the transfer of temporarily disabled employees to less strenuous or hazardous positions for the duration of the disability to refuse to transfer a pregnant female employee who so requests.
It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to temporarily transfer a pregnant female employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position for the duration of her pregnancy if she so requests, with the advice of her physician, where that transfer can be reasonably accommodated. However, no employer shall be required by this section to create additional employment that the employer would not otherwise have created, nor shall the employer be required to discharge any employee, transfer any employee with more seniority, or promote any employee who is not qualified to perform the job.
It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right provided under the above provisions.
Branigan Robertson is a California employment lawyer who focuses his practice on pregnancy discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Call for a free consultation.