Pregnancy Leave Scenario

What happens if one of your employees exceeds her 4 months of pregnancy disability leave and has NOT had the baby? Do you know what to do next? 

Let’s navigate CA Workers' Compensation, FMLA/CFRA & ADA challenges TOGETHER.

In less than 5 minutes LMS can provide you with strategies to manage your CA PDL/FMLA, ADA/FEHA, CFRA Baby Bonding (BB) challenges.

It really is crazy how complex handling medical leaves and accommodations has become in California. That being said, it is easy to understand why so many HR / Leave Coordination managers are not that clear on how to manage these situations.

Let me tell you how I helped solved the challenges with Julie’s extended leave, avoiding litigation…

We are going to use an employee named Julie as an example...Julie is pregnant in CA and exhausted her PDL/FMLA.


Julie, a California employee, is having complications with her pregnancy. We placed Julie on a four-month state Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL), running concurrently to FMLA for the first 12 weeks. 

Julie had her baby two weeks after her PDL expired. 

How much more time can she have off work? What documentation should be required? What if she continues to have medical issue after the birth of her baby?  

The Solution:

Julie is eligible for CA PDL – up to 17 1/3 weeks of leave for pregnancy related medical issues. Federal FMLA will run concurrent to PDL. It is important you designate the PDL/FMLA leave formally with written notification. Employees are eligible for CFRA BB once PDL has expired, after the baby is born. Once PDL has exhausted, the employee is eligible to take CFRA Baby Bonding (BB) Leave (Note: FMLA will exhaust after 12 weeks, PDL exhausts after 17 1/3 weeks. For the first 12 weeks they run concurrently). The typical pregnancy will require 6 weeks of recovery time, however rely on the medical providers notification regarding the time each woman needs based on her personal situation. Once the baby is born, and PDL is exhausted, if Julie requires additional leave as a result of a medical disability (related to the pregnancy or not), that qualifies under the ADA, Julie may be eligible for additional leave under the ADA - If it is not an undue hardship for the employer. 

However, Julie is also eligible for leave under CFRA Baby Bonding, and CFRA BB maintains her health care benefits while protection under ADA does not. An employee may take CFRA BB once PDL/FMLA has expired whether she is eligible for ADA protection or not. And note, if Julie was eligible for FMLA during PDL, she does not need to re-qualify for CFRA BB. One of the primary benefits of choosing to use CFRA BB for Julie is to maintain the integrity of her continued health care coverage, as ADA does not protect health care benefits.  

Make sure you explain this to the Julie so she can make the choice that best fits her needs. And certainly, if your organization determines it is an undue hardship to provide leave as an accommodation under the ADA, make sure you are providing the employee the opportunity to take the leave under CFRA BB. 

In The Trenches

By HR - For HR

The Ultimate Guide to California Medical Leaves and Accommodations, and Handling Performance Management and related EEO Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Challenges

Over the last 20 years, we have had 100’s of HR professionals, consultants, benefits specialist, attorneys and even doctors to our coaching/mentoring/training sessions. PDL, FMLA/CFRA, ADA/FEHA, PFL, SDI, PFL, and Workers' Compensation as well as strategies for Handling Performance Management and related Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation complaints from protected employees.

Mason Overstreet

Prior Conservation Director, Friends of West Shore

“She was not only able to assist us with avoiding a discrimination lawsuit; she was able to do so with great efficiency and professionalism.”

Ms. De Lima exceeded all of my expectations for our debacle. She was not only able to assist us with avoiding a discrimination lawsuit; she was able to do so with great efficiency and professionalism. In less than two weeks from our initial contact, we were able to have our issue resolved satisfactorily for both parties. The process was quiet, quick and smooth. Ms. De Lima was a delight to work with – extremely professional, bright and to the point. If we were to encounter another similar type of situation, she would be my first call.

As you can see, it really is not hard to avoid litigation or to handle these types of situations, you just need the tools and procedures in place to guide you through the situation. 

If you are an HR Professional and would like to get the tools and process in place to guide you through the situation click the button below to learn more about our 2-day workshops