California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers with 5 or more employees to grant an employee disabled by pregnancy a reasonable period of time for disability leave (up to 4 months), called pregnancy disability leave or PDL. PDL is available when an employee is actually disabled as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. On October 6, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law an amendment to the state’s PDL law. Effective January 1, 2012, the new law:
- Prohibits employers from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage of eligible female employees who take PDL under a group health plan for the duration of the leave (not to exceed 4 months over the course of a 12-month period).
- Requires that the group health plan remain at the level and under the conditions the coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave.
- Provides a limited right to employers to recover from an employee the premiums paid for maintaining this coverage.
You may view the new law in its entirety by clicking here. For more information on state laws specific to California, visit the State Laws section, click on California, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.