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Pregnancy Disability Leave in California

You are legally not required to tell your employer you are pregnant – there are no legal deadlines for informing them. But there are regulations you should observe to get Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).

Here is what to know:  

When should you give your employer notice? 

You should provide your employer with at least 30 days’ advance notice to take PDL, to receive reasonable accommodation or to obtain a transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position. But in case of an emergency (an unforeseeable need), such as preeclampsia or premature water break, you should provide the notice as soon as practical.

What do you need to get PDL?

Your employer may require you to provide a written medical certification from your medical provider. They must give you at least 15 calendar days to do this.

If you have a medical emergency before providing this certification, your employer will request you to submit it within a particular timeframe. But if it’s not practical for you to do so despite doing your best to get it, the need for the certification may be waived. 

What will happen if you fail to comply with these rules?

If you fail to give your employer reasonable notice or a written medical certification, even though your circumstances allow you to obtain one, they may be justified in delaying your leave or reasonable accommodation. Thus, you may not have grounds to take legal action against them.

How long does PDL last?

Your medical provider will estimate the duration you need for your leave. Note that your employer may not require you to use your accrued time off during PDL. 

If your employer treats you unfavorably because of your pregnancy, get legal help to protect your rights.