Right to Reinstatement from Pregnancy Disability Leave.
The following rules apply to reinstatement from any leave or transfer taken for disability because of pregnancy.
(a) Guarantee of Reinstatement
An employee who exercises her right to take pregnancy disability leave is guaranteed a right to return to the same position, or, if the employer is excused by section 11043(c)(1), to a comparable position, and the employer shall provide the guarantee in writing upon request of the employee. It is an unlawful employment practice for any employer, after granting a requested pregnancy disability leave or transfer, to refuse to honor its guarantee of reinstatement unless the refusal is justified by the defenses below in subdivisions (c)(1) and (c)(2). If the employee takes intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, only one written guarantee of reinstatement is required.
(b) Refusal to Reinstate
(1) Definite Date of Reinstatement
Where a definite date of reinstatement has been agreed upon at the beginning of the leave or transfer, a refusal to reinstate is established if the Department or employee proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the leave or transfer was granted by the employer and that the employer failed to reinstate the employee to the same position or, where applicable, to a comparable position, by the date agreed upon, as specified below in subdivisions (c)(1) and (c)(2).
(2) Change in Date of Reinstatement
If the reinstatement date differs from the employer's and the employee's original agreement or if no agreement was made, the employer shall reinstate the employee within two business days, or, when two business days is not feasible, reinstatement shall be made as soon as it is possible for the employer to expedite the employee's return, after the employee notifies the employer of her readiness to return to the same, or, where applicable, a comparable position, as specified below in subdivisions (c)(1) and (c)(2).
(c) Permissible Defenses - Employment Would Have Ceased
(1) Right to Reinstatement to the Same Position
An employee has no greater right to reinstatement to the same position or to other benefits and conditions of employment than those rights she would have had if she had been continuously at work during the pregnancy disability leave or transfer period. This is true even if the employer has given the employee a written guarantee of reinstatement.
A refusal to reinstate the employee to her same position or duties is justified if the employer proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the employee would not otherwise have been employed in her same position at the time reinstatement is requested for legitimate business reasons unrelated to the employee taking pregnancy disability leave or transfer (such as a layoff pursuant to a plant closure).
(2) Right to Reinstatement to a Comparable Position
An employee has no greater right to reinstatement to a comparable position or to other benefits and conditions of employment than an employee who has been continuously employed in another position that is being eliminated. If the employer is excused from reinstating the employee to her same position, or with the same duties, a refusal to reinstate the employee to a comparable position is justified if the employer proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, either of the following:
(A) The employer would not have offered a comparable position to the employee if she would have been continuously at work during the pregnancy disability leave or transfer period.
(B) There is no comparable position available.
1. A position is available if there is a position open on the employee's scheduled date of reinstatement or within 60 calendar days for which the employee is qualified, or to which the employee is entitled by company policy, contract, or collective bargaining agreement.
2. An employer has an affirmative duty to provide notice of available positions to the employee by means reasonably calculated to inform the employee of comparable positions during the requirement period. Examples include notification in person, by letter, telephone or email, or by links to postings on the company's website if there is a section for job openings.
3. If a comparable position is not available on the employee's scheduled date of reinstatement, but the employee is later reinstated under the 60 calendar day period set forth in section 11043(c)(2)(B)1., above, the period between the employee's scheduled date of reinstatement and the date of her actual reinstatement shall not be counted for purposes of any employee pay or benefit.
(3) If an employee is laid off during pregnancy disability leave or transfer for legitimate business reasons unrelated to her leave or transfer, the employer's responsibility to continue the pregnancy disability leave or transfer, maintain benefits, and reinstate the employee ceases at the time the employee is laid off, provided the employer has no continuing obligations under a collective bargaining agreement, or otherwise.
(d) Right to Reinstatement to Job if Additional Leave Taken Following End of Pregnancy Disability Leave; Equal Treatment
If an employee disabled by pregnancy remains on some form of leave following the end of her pregnancy disability leave (e.g., employer's disability leave plan, etc.), an employer shall grant the employee reinstatement rights that are the same as any other similarly situated employee who has taken a similar length disability leave under the employer's policy, practice or collective bargaining agreement. For example, if the employer has a policy that grants reinstatement to other employees who are temporarily disabled for up to six months, the employer must also grant reinstatement to an employee disabled by pregnancy for six months. An employer and employee also may agree to a later date of reinstatement.
(e) Right to Reinstatement to Job if CFRA Leave is Taken Following Pregnancy Disability Leave
At the expiration of pregnancy disability leave, if an employee takes a CFRA leave for reason of the birth of her child, the employee's right to reinstatement to her job is governed by CFRA and not section 11043(c)(1) and (c)(2), above. Under CFRA, an employer may reinstate an employee either to her same or a comparable position.
Government Code 12935(a)
Government Code 12940
Government Code 12945
29 U.S.C. 2601, et seq.
29 C.F.R. 825
(Amended by Register 2013, No. 40.)