I'm currently on maternity disability until the beginning of December. I've worked enough hours to qualify for the extended bonding time and was told that would be able to use it within the first year of my sons life. Now my employer says they ran that time concurrent with my disability and that I no longer qualify for the extended leave. Is that legal?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Call an employment law attorney to discuss. Most of us offer a free, initial phone consultation. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of her pregnancy. In addition, you MAY be eligible for up to 7 months of leave.
The general rules:
If your CA employer has at least 5 employees, they can not fire you because you are pregnant, must allow you to continue working as long as you are able, must 'reasonably' accommodate your disability, must allow up to 4 months of unpaid pregnancy leave under FEHA, and return you to the same or an equivalent job upon return to work, with accrued benefits.
If your CA employer has at least 50 employees, and you are employed for at least 12 months and have at least 1,250 hours worked in the 12 months prior to the leave, then you would be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA / CFRA maternity / medical leave when you are unable to work because of a ‘SERIOUS health condition’, continuation of any group health benefits, restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return to work, with any accrued benefits. *** The employer can require you to use all accrued unused vacations and leave[s] as part of the 12 weeks, so as to make that portion 'paid'. Being out sick with minor illness or injury does not fall within the protections.
Every case is determined upon its merits and all the facts. If you think you can prove they failed to do so under those rules, feel free to contact me.