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Legal Resources | Code of Regulations, Title 2 |    11042  

Pregnancy Disability Leave.   

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The following provisions apply to leave taken for disability because of pregnancy.

(a) Four-Month Leave Requirement for all Employers

All employers must provide a leave of up to four months, as needed, for the period(s) of time an employee is actually disabled because of pregnancy even if an employer has a policy or practice that provides less than four months of leave for other similarly situated temporarily disabled employees.

(1) A ?four month leave? means time off for the number of days or hours the employee would normally work within four calendar months (one-third of a year or 17 1/3 weeks). For a full time employee who works 40 hours per week, ?four months? means 693 hours of leave entitlement, based on 40 hours per week times 17 1/3 weeks.

(2) For employees who work more or less than 40 hours per week, or who work on variable work schedules, the number of working days that constitutes four months is calculated on a pro rata or proportional basis.

(A) For example, for an employee who works 20 hours per week, ?four months? means 346.5 hours of leave entitlement. For an employee who normally works 48 hours per week, ?four months? means 832 hours of leave entitlement.

(B) Leave on an intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.

An employer may account for increments of intermittent leave using an increment no greater than the shortest period of time that the employer uses to account for use of other forms of leave, provided it is not greater than one hour. For example, if an employer accounts for sick leave in 30-minute increments and vacation time in one-hour increments, the employer must account for pregnancy disability leave in increments of 30 minutes or less. If an employer accounts for other forms of leave in two-hour increments, the employer must account for pregnancy disability leave in increments no greater than one hour.

(C) If a holiday falls within a week taken as pregnancy disability leave, the week is nevertheless counted as a week of pregnancy disability leave. If, however, the employer's business activity has temporarily ceased for some reason and employees generally are not expected to report for work for one or more weeks, (e.g., a school closing for two weeks for the Christmas/New Year holiday or summer vacation or an employer closing the plant for retooling), the days the employer's activities have ceased do not count against the employee's pregnancy disability leave entitlement.

(3) Although all pregnant employees are eligible for up to four months of leave, if that leave is taken in one period of time, taking intermittent or reduced work schedule throughout an employee's pregnancy will differentially affect the number of hours remaining that an employee is entitled to take pregnancy disability leave leading up to and after childbirth, depending on the employee's regular work schedule.

(A) For example, a full-time employee, who normally works a 40-hour work week is entitled to 693 working hours of leave. If that employee takes 180 hours of intermittent leave throughout her pregnancy, she would still be entitled to take 513 hours, or approximately three months leading up to and after her childbirth.

(B) In contrast, a part-time employee who normally works 20 hours per week, would be entitled to 346.5 hours of leave. If that employee takes intermittent leave of 180 hours throughout her pregnancy, she would be entitled to only 166.5 more hours of leave, approximately two months of leave, leading up to and after her childbirth.

(4) Minimum Duration

Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule when an employee is disabled because of pregnancy, as determined by the health care provider of the employee. An employer may account for increments of intermittent leave using the shortest period of time that the employer's payroll system uses to account for other forms of leave, provided it is not greater than one hour, as set forth in section 11042(a)(2)(B).

(5) Employees are eligible for up to four months of leave per pregnancy, not per year.

(b) Employers With More Generous Leave Policies

If an employer has a more generous leave policy for similarly situated employees with other temporary disabilities than is required for pregnancy purposes under these regulations, the employer must provide the more generous leave to employees temporarily disabled by pregnancy. If the employer's more generous leave policy exceeds four months, the employer's return policy after taking the leave would govern, not the return rights specified in these regulations.

(c) Denial of Leave is an Unlawful Employment Practice

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to grant pregnancy disability leave to an employee disabled by pregnancy

(1) who has provided the employer with reasonable advance notice of the medical need for the leave, and

(2) whose health care provider has advised that the employee is disabled by pregnancy. The employer may require medical certification of the medical advisability of the leave, as set forth in sections 11049(a) and (b), and 11050(b).

Authority cited:

Government Code 12935(a)

Reference:

Government Code 12940

Government Code 12945

29 U.S.C. 2601, et seq.

29 C.F.R. 825

(Amended by Register 2013, No. 40.)