Legal Question in Disability Law in California

I am currently on maternity leave and finished my 6 weeks of PDL after I gave birth. At my 6 week checkup I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and my doctor gave me an additional 12 weeks of disability. How much CFRA ( bonding time) am I eligible for? My employer said I can't get the 12 weeks of bonding time but only 6 weeks. I want to make sure this is correct because they haven't been very good about following up and answering any of my questions. Thanks!

Asked on 3/15/13, 7:27 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kristine Karila Law Office of Kristine S. Karila

It depends on the amount of employees your employer has. If you have been employed for at least 1 year and worked full time or close to full time and your employer has 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius, you are entitled to a total of 12 weeks unpaid leave (including leaving to give birth, bond, etc.) and your employer must return you to the same or equivalent job, under the Family Medical Leave Act and CFRA. Your employer can force you to use any earned sick, PTO or vacation leave. If your employer is not subject to FMLA/CFRA, because of your depression, your company must "reasonably accommodate" your medical condition unless it would pose an undue burden on your employer. You may need to call an employment law attorney to discuss. 949-481-6909.

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Answered on 3/16/13, 11:12 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

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, 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'.

If you qualify for both, you get both. If you are out longer than those guarantees, they can terminate you.

Now, if they violate those rules, contact me for the legal help you'll need. I'll be happy to do so. I've been doing these cases for over 20 years.

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Answered on 3/17/13, 1:07 pm

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