Pregnancy Leave in California

pregnancy leave, pregnancy leave in california, labor lawLooking for information on pregnancy leave in California? Pregnant employees are protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a federal law that guarantees medical leave for eligible workers. (The FMLA also guarantees medical leave for workers in other situations, such as when an employee’s spouse, child or parent has a serious health condition).

Most employers are familiar with the provisions of the FMLA, particularly the requirement that eligible employees must be permitted to take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child, and for caring for the child during its first year of life. (The requirement also applies to employees who adopt children or become foster parents, who are eligible for the work leave within one year of the placement of a child.)

Unfortunately, some California employers are unaware that pregnant employees also have protections on the state level. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA), which provides many of the same protections as the FMLA, is just one of the state laws that provides benefits for workers who are pregnant, and/or have new additions to their families.

California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act

Under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA), an employee can take up to four months off from work due to medical conditions related to pregnancy, with a guarantee that their job will be protected. This leave time can be taken intermittently – meaning that an employee does not have to take all of this leave time at once. Another important element of this legislation is that an employee who is taking pregnancy disability leave is entitled to continue receiving any health benefits that they typically get through their employer.

Workers are eligible for pregnancy disability leave if they work for employers with five or more employees. Many employees who are ineligible for the protections of the FMLA and the CFRA are covered by the PDLA.

Family Temporary Disability Insurance

California also has a program that provides temporary insurance benefits to workers who take leave for certain family-related reasons – including employees with new children. The provisions of the program, which is called Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI), are laid out in Section 3301 of California’s Unemployment Insurance Code.

FTDI allows eligible workers to receive up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits if they take time off from work to care for a child who was born within the past year, or for a child who was placed with them via adoption or foster care. The amount received per week is based on the employee’s salary.

Responding to Pregnancy Leave Discrimination

If you are pregnant, or recently had a child, and your employer has denied you the rights to which you are entitled under federal or California law, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. The employment and labor law attorneys at Beck Law P.C. in Santa Rosa have handled many cases over the years dealing with the rights of employees with families. You can call or email our office today to schedule a consultation.

California’s New Child Labor Regulations

child labor regulationsCalifornia’s new child labor regulations. As of January 1, 2015, California has new protections for victims of child labor law violations. Assembly Bill 2288, also known as the Child Labor Protection Act of 2014, has become Section 1311.5 of the California Labor Code.

The legislation reads as follows:

  • “The statute of limitations for claims arising under this code shall be tolled until an individual allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice attains the age of majority. This subdivision is declaratory of existing law.”

(“Tolling” a statute of limitations simply means suspending it. So, for example, let’s say an employer in California violates a child labor law, thus giving a 16-year-old employee a cause of action, and the statute of limitations for the particular offense is 3 years. The employee would be able to file a claim until he or she turns 21. This is because, with regard to the statute of limitations, the clock would not start ticking until the employee turns 18.)

  • “In addition to the other remedies available, an individual who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, retaliated against, subjected to an adverse action, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms or conditions of his or her employment because the individual filed a claim or civil action alleging a violation of this code that arose while the individual was a minor, whether the claim or civil action was filed before or after the individual reached the age of majority, shall be entitled to treble damages.”

(Treble damages are, effectively, triple damages. Laws such as this one allow for victims of certain violations to receive three times their “actual” damages. So if an employee files a claim alleging that his or her employer violated a child labor law, at a time when the employee was a minor – and the employer subjects the employee to retaliation for filing the claim – then the employee will be entitled to three times the damages that he or she would otherwise receive.)

  • “A class ‘A’ violation, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1288, that involves a minor 12 years of age or younger shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not less than $25,000 and not exceeding $50,000 for each violation.”

(A class “A” violation is when an employer violates California’s child labor laws in such a way as to present an imminent danger to minor employees, or a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm would result therefrom. Under Section 1288, a class “A” violation carries with it a civil penalty of $5,000 to $10,000 for each and every violation. Under the new legislation, that amount is increased to $25,000 to $50,000 if the employee involved is 12 or under.)

Seeking Legal Counsel Regarding Child Labor Regulations Issues

If you are believe that you were subjected to violations of child labor laws as an employee – or if you are an employer, and you have been accused of violating a child labor law – you may benefit from the advice of a qualified attorney. You can schedule a consultation with the employment and labor law attorneys at Beck Law P.C. in Santa Rosa by calling or emailing their office today.

New Precedent for California No Rehire Clause – Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians

No Rehire Clause,New precedent for California no rehire clause – Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians. It’s fairly well-known that the state of California doesn’t look kindly on non-compete provisions in employment contracts. Settlement agreements with “no rehire” provisions have not posed many problems for employers, however – until now. In a case that could have major consequences for California employers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a “no rehire” clause can violate the same California law that prohibits non-compete provisions.

No Rehire Clause Decision

The decision, Golden vs. Cal. Emergency Physicians, was handed down in April 2015. It held that a settlement agreement’s provisions about re-hiring could be considered overly broad – and thus could be found to impermissibly restrain an employee’s professional practice, which is a violation of Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code.

What Happened in the Case?

The employee, David Golden, was a doctor employed by California Emergency Physicians Medical Group. He was terminated from his position, and then filed an employment discrimination suit. The parties eventually agreed to settle.

The settlement agreement contained a clause stating that he would waive any and all rights to be employed by CEP, or to be employed at any facility owned by CEP. The clause also stated that if Dr. Golden were to become employed at a facility unaffiliated with CEP, and then CEP bought or contracted with that facility, then Dr. Golden would be terminated without any liability.

Dr. Golden was unhappy with this clause, and refused to sign it. He argued that the clause violated Section 16600, which states that a contract “by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.”

When his case went to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the court ruled against Dr. Golden. The district court held that because the agreement didn’t prevent him from working for a competitor of CEP (or for a hospital or facility operated by someone other than CEP), then the agreement could not be considered a violation of Section 16600.

This decision, however, was overturned by the Ninth Circuit, which sent the case back to the district court. The Ninth Circuit held that the language of 16600 is broad, and should not be interpreted to apply only to non-compete clauses. The court, however, did not take a stance on whether the agreement actually violated Section 16600.

What Does This Case Mean For You?

If you are an employer in California, and you have signed no-rehire agreements with former employees, there’s no need to panic. The ruling does not prohibit no-rehire agreements altogether. But it does mean that some no-rehire agreements could conceivably be considered violations of Section 16600.

Before you sign any new settlement agreements, it may be wise to ensure that the language you use does not go overboard in restricting the employee’s rights. If you are concerned about the enforceability of your agreements, you may wish to speak to a lawyer. The employment and labor law attorneys at Beck Law P.C., in Santa Rosa, have a great deal of experience with employment contracts. You can call or email them today to schedule a consultation.


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and testimonials presented on or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.