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Medical LOA - Maternity vs Non Maternity California

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  • Medical LOA - Maternity vs Non Maternity California

    Hello All,

    An employee request that I posted about earlier brought another issue to mind and I wanted to see if I could get some feedback on it.

    I work for a small company (18 employees) in California. We do not have a formal Medical LOA policy in place outside of maternity. Our maternity policy states that employees are allowed up to four (4) months of unpaid disability leave for pregnancy when the employee-mother is actually disabled and unable to work. This includes time off needed for prenatal care, severe morning sickness, doctor-ordered bed rest, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, and related medical conditions. An employee wishing to take this leave shall provide us with reasonable notice of the date the leave shall commence and the estimated duration of the leave.

    My question is - since we are providing four (4) months of unpaid leave for pregnancy related disability, are we required to provide four (4) months of unpaid leave for any other medical disability?

    We just want to make sure we are acting fairly and protecting the interests of the employees as well as the company. My understanding is that we cannot treat maternity leave any differently than we would another type of medical leave so I am inclined to believe the opposite would be true as well.

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

  • #2
    PDL (Pregnancy Disability Leave) - the up to 4 mos. of leave for disability caused by
    pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions applies only to pregnancy disability.

    There is no law that you have to give up to 4 mos. for other medical conditions/
    disabilities.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the reply.

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      • #4
        As there is a law in your state that dictates you provide up to 4 months, you must do so for maternity but for other conditions, you are free to set your own policy. Just make sure it applies to all non-maternity cases equally or at least base any differences on business necessity or non-protected characteristics. For example you can offer leave based on tenure but I would avoid basing it on age.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Thank you, that is quite helpful.

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          • #6
            As you probably know, FMLA & CFRA would not apply since you do not have
            enough employees.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment

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