DFEH "Notice A" Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee
If you are pregnant, have a related medical condition, or are recovering from childbirth, PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE.
• California law protects employees against discrimination or harassment because of an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition (referred to below as “because of pregnancy”). California also law prohibits employers from denying or interfering with an employee’s pregnancy-related employment rights.
• Your employer has an obligation to:
o reasonably accommodate your medical needs related to pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions (such as temporarily modifying your work duties, providing you with a stool or chair, or allowing more frequent breaks);
o transfer you to a less strenuous or hazardous position (where one is available) or duties if medically needed because of your pregnancy; and
o provide you with pregnancy disability leave (PDL) of up to four months (the working
days you normally would work in one-third of a year or 17⅓ weeks) and return you to your same job when you are no longer disabled by your pregnancy or, in certain
instances, to a comparable job. Taking PDL, however, does not protect you from nonleave related employment actions, such as a layoff.
o provide a reasonable amount of break time and use of a room or other location in close proximity to the employee's work area to express breast milk in private as set forth in Labor Code section 1030, et seq.
• For pregnancy disability leave:
o PDL is not for an automatic period of time, but for the period of time that you are disabled by pregnancy. Your health care provider determines how much time you will need.
o Once your employer has been informed that you need to take PDL, your employer must guarantee in writing that you can return to work in your same position if you request a written guarantee. Your employer may require you to submit written medical certification from your health care provider substantiating the need for your leave.
o PDL may include, but is not limited to, additional or more frequent breaks, time for prenatal or postnatal medical appointments, doctor-ordered bed rest, “severe morning sickness,” gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, recovery from childbirth or loss or end of pregnancy, and/or post-partum depression.
o PDL does not need to be taken all at once but can be taken on an as-needed basis as required by your health care provider, including intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule, all of which counts against your four month entitlement to leave.
o Your leave will be paid or unpaid depending on your employer’s policy for other medical leaves. You may also be eligible for state disability insurance or Paid Family Leave (PFL), administered by the California Employment Development Department.
o At your discretion, you can use any vacation or other paid time off during your PDL.
o Your employer may require or you may choose to use any available sick leave during your PDL.
o Your employer is required to continue your group health coverage during your PDL at the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been provided if you had continued in employment continuously for the duration of your leave.
o Taking PDL may impact certain of your benefits and your seniority date; please contact your employer for details.
Notice obligations as an Employee:
• Give your employer reasonable notice: To receive reasonable accommodation, obtain a
transfer, or take PDL, you must give your employer sufficient notice for your employer to make appropriate plans – 30 days advance notice if the need for the reasonable accommodation, transfer or PDL is foreseeable, otherwise as soon as practicable if the need is an emergency or unforeseeable.
• Provide a Written Medical Certification from Your Health Care Provider. Except in a medical emergency where there is no time to obtain it, your employer may require you to
supply a written medical certification from your health care provider of the medical need for your reasonable accommodation, transfer or PDL. If the need is an emergency or unforeseeable, you must provide this certification within the time frame your employer requests, unless it is not practicable for you to do so under the circumstances despite your diligent, good faith efforts. Your employer must provide at least 15 calendar days for you to submit the certification. See your employer for a copy of a medical certification form to give to your health care provider to complete.
• PLEASE NOTE that if you fail to give your employer reasonable advance notice or, if your employer requires it, written medical certification of your medical need, your employer may be justified in delaying your reasonable accommodation, transfer, or PDL.
This notice is a summary of your rights and obligations under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). For more information about your rights and obligations as a pregnant employee, contact your employer, visit the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s Web site at www.dfeh.ca.gov, or contact the Department at (800) 884-1684. The text of the FEHA and the regulations interpreting it are available on the Department’s Web site.