No Charge Unless We Win: 855-913-1134
Ver en Español

California Pregnancy & Maternity Leave Lawyers

Get in touch with our talented and experienced law team. We offer free consultations!

Denial of Pregnancy & Maternity Leave Protections Comes in Many Forms

In California, employees have rights related to pregnancy and maternity leave under both state and federal laws. These rights are designed to protect employees from discrimination due to pregnancy and ensure they have time off for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. Here’s a summary of the key laws and rights:

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)

  • Eligibility: Employees in California who work for employers with 5 or more employees are eligible for PDL.
  • Duration: Up to 4 months (about 17 1/3 weeks) of leave for a woman who is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
  • Pay: PDL is unpaid, but employees can use any accrued sick leave during this time and may be eligible for state disability insurance (SDI) benefits.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

  • Eligibility: Employees who have worked for their employer for at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to their leave and work at a location with at least 5 employees are eligible.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. This is in addition to any time taken under PDL, essentially allowing some employees to take up to 7 months off.
  • Pay: Leave is unpaid, but employees can use accrued paid leave (like vacation or sick leave) during this time.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • Eligibility: Similar to CFRA but applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in the year prior to the start of leave.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth and care of the newborn child, among other reasons. FMLA runs concurrently with CFRA and PDL when applicable.
  • Pay: Unpaid, but employees can use accrued paid leave.

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

  • Eligibility: Most workers who have paid into State Disability Insurance (SDI) are eligible.
  • Duration: Up to 8 weeks of benefit payments but does not provide job protection by itself. It can be used in conjunction with CFRA or FMLA leave.
  • Pay: Approximately 60-70% of wages depending on income.

Additional Protections

  • Job Protection: Employees are generally entitled to return to their same or a comparable position at the end of their pregnancy or parental leave.
  • Health Insurance: Employers must continue group health coverage during PDL or CFRA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work.


  • California law prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees. Employers cannot fire, demote, or discriminate against employees for being pregnant or taking leave.

It’s important for employees to communicate with their employers about their need for pregnancy or parental leave. The specific rights and procedures can vary based on individual circumstances, so it might also be helpful to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.

Our Approach

Our Practices are Guided by Integrity. We’ll protect what you deserve.

We work tirelessly and fight tenaciously to hold rights abusers accountable.

If you’ve experienced a distressing incident related to an issue like this, call us for a free case evaluation.

Did You Know?

Pregnancy Leave
California employees have the right to up to four months of pregnancy disability leave for those disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, and up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave under the California Family Rights Act to bond with a new child, both with job protection and continuation of health insurance benefits.
Paid Family Leave (PFL)
In California, Paid Family Leave (PFL) provides employees with up to 8 weeks of partial wage replacement benefits to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child, without job protection by itself, available to most workers who have contributed to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

"*" indicates required fields

Get In Touch For a FREE Consultation Today

Texting Consent*
* Do you give us permission to send you text messages about your inquiry?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.