California’s Maternity Leave and New Parent Leave Act
In many states, new parents will need to rely on the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act in order to obtain time off work for their adjustments as new parents. In California, however, laws regarding pregnancy and parental leave are among the greatest in the nation.
California’s New Parent Leave Act
Starting this year, a new law took effect called the New Parent Leave Act. This law allows workers the opportunity to take a leave from work for a maximum of 12 weeks in order to take care of a new minor. The minor could be through foster care, adopted, or a biological infant. The New Parent Leave Act will only cover employers who have a minimum of 20 workers within a 75-mile radius.
In order to have eligibility for the work-protected leave, an employee must:
- Have been employed for the company for at a minimum of 12 months, and
- Must have worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours in the year prior to the request for leave.
Although qualifying employees are on their leave, employers will need to continue their health coverage. Upon their return, the employers will need to allow them the opportunity to return to their positions held prior to taking the leave.
Family Rights Act in California
Employers that have a minimum of 50 workers within a 75-mile radius will need to abide by the California Family Rights Act. The Family Rights Act will benefit workers who:
- Have been employed with the company for a minimum of one year, and
- Have been employed a minimum of 1,250 hours within the year prior to requesting the leave.
Similarly, workers that have been approved for the leave will continue to receive health care benefits from their employer. The difference, however, is that workers will need to pay their portion of premiums while on leave and these premiums could be slightly higher than while working.
Pregnancy Disability Leave Law
The State of California also has the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law. If a woman was incapacitated at any time in the duration of her marriage, she will be eligible to receive benefits stated by the law. An incapacitated worker will be able to take a maximum of four (4) months off of work. The following is a limited list of pregnancy-related health issues that could qualify a woman for Pregnancy Disability Leave benefits:
- Prenatal care,
- Severe morning sickness,
- Doctor-ordered rest,
- The birth of the infant, and
- The recovery from the birth
It should be noted that this time is not for standard, healthy pregnancies. In order to receive benefits, the mother will need to be deemed unable to carry out a simple work-related task without the risk of death of the unborn child and/or mother. In accordance to the law, the mother will be able to obtain up to four (4) months of unpaid leave in addition to the regular 12 weeks already being given through routine parental leave.
Paid Disability and Family Leave
Unlike many states, the State of California offers temporary paid leave benefits for workers that were unable to carry out their work duties because of a disability. It also offers these benefits to workers who take time off of work in order to bond with their new child. Under California’s temporary disability insurance program, workers can receive their usual wages while on a temporary disability leave that could include pregnancy and/or childbirth.
Defending a Claim? Talk to a Skilled Lawyer
Regrettably, there are circumstances with employee claims/benefits that could make running a business unnecessarily difficult. If you are an employer that has experienced a false or fraudulent claim for benefits, you should know that you do not have to bear the burden alone; consult a professional attorney that will defend your rights.
The attorneys at the Knez Law Group, LLP have many years of dedicated experience helping employers obtain the workplace protections they deserve. When you have been a victim of a fraudulent benefit claim, seeking the support of an experienced attorney can make the difference. Speak to an experienced team of attorneys today.