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Thread: Employers rights during an Employees pregnancy California

  1. #1

    Question Employers rights during an Employees pregnancy California

    Forgive me if this has been asked before.

    I'm a manager in one of many locations my employer has. It's a large corporation, however, our HR department is not very helpful and our handbook doesn't cover my question.

    My question is, what rights does an employer, in my case me being the manager of a location, have when it comes to doctor visits and other pregnancy related time off if the pregnant employee has ran out of paid time off?

    My employee is 3 months pregnant and has had different doctors appointments weekly and sometimes a couple times during a week. She's ran out of time off yet has all these appointments. I've been supportive n covering the time and she's been helpful by trying to schedule early morning, lunch or late afternoon. Even with all that it's still taking a toll on our group of workers trying to cover her assignments with all the time off.

    Am I legally required to give the time off if she has none to use? I'm afraid of saying anything to her without knowing what is and isn't allowed in a situation like this.

    Thank you in advance for any insight you might have.

    CW

  2. #2
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    Does she qualify for FMLA?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiously wondering View Post
    Forgive me if this has been asked before.

    I'm a manager in one of many locations my employer has. It's a large corporation, however, our HR department is not very helpful and our handbook doesn't cover my question.

    My question is, what rights does an employer, in my case me being the manager of a location, have when it comes to doctor visits and other pregnancy related time off if the pregnant employee has ran out of paid time off?

    My employee is 3 months pregnant and has had different doctors appointments weekly and sometimes a couple times during a week. She's ran out of time off yet has all these appointments. I've been supportive n covering the time and she's been helpful by trying to schedule early morning, lunch or late afternoon. Even with all that it's still taking a toll on our group of workers trying to cover her assignments with all the time off.

    Am I legally required to give the time off if she has none to use? I'm afraid of saying anything to her without knowing what is and isn't allowed in a situation like this.

    Thank you in advance for any insight you might have.

    CW
    Paid time off has no bearing on an employee's entitlement to pregnancy disability leave and CFRA. She is entitled to up to 4 months off under PDL, regardless of how much paid time off she has accrued. If she doesn't have PTO remaining, she can take the time off unpaid. In fact, PDL and CFRA are, by definition, unpaid leaves. You cannot restrict her time off under PDL, except you can ask her to schedule appointments that cause the least disruption to the workplace, which it seems she has been doing.

    I might add, if your employer is a large corporation and you do not know the various leaves under CA law, this is a major problem. CA law is very employee friendly and your employer is asking for big trouble if they are not training managers properly on leave entitlements.

  4. #4

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    Yes, she's able to get FMLA. PDL and CFRA i understand are unpaid leaves. I thought though any type of leave needed to be put through our HR.

    One of our other ladies has a disease that requires every other week doctor appointments and at times partial days. In her case she has to use her intermittent FMLA time when she does these, according to our HR. wouldn't this be the same?

    I would say, at this point, my pregnant employee is only at work a full day two, sometimes three, times a week. She's a full time employee and the continued time off, I'm starting to wonder if it's all really pregnancy related.

    I like her and want to protect as much time as she need to ensure her and the baby's health and the bonding time she'll want/need.. However I have a team of others I need to protect as well and they are carrying the brunt of a lot of work.

    I'm also concerned that her attendance may cause her problems if my superiors were somehow alerted. I don't want that either.

    I really don't know what to do. I'm stuck in a hard place right now.

    And yes, my company asks for a lot of trouble in many different ways. HR training of field managers is low. Their idea of that is a help desk, that I originally said is not helpful.

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    You are legally required to allow her to take off any time that is protected under FMLA/CFRA. I don't know how to make it any more clear than that.

    It does not have to be paid time. The amount of paid time she has available is completely irrelevant to FMLA/CFRA. You can ask her to make her appointments at times that will be the least disruptive, but you cannot deny her the time. Yes, it will count against her FMLA, just like the other lady's does. That doesn't make it any less protected.

    Who or what department leaves go through is determined by your company's policies, not by law.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiously wondering View Post
    Yes, she's able to get FMLA. PDL and CFRA i understand are unpaid leaves. I thought though any type of leave needed to be put through our HR.

    One of our other ladies has a disease that requires every other week doctor appointments and at times partial days. In her case she has to use her intermittent FMLA time when she does these, according to our HR. wouldn't this be the same?

    I would say, at this point, my pregnant employee is only at work a full day two, sometimes three, times a week. She's a full time employee and the continued time off, I'm starting to wonder if it's all really pregnancy related.

    I like her and want to protect as much time as she need to ensure her and the baby's health and the bonding time she'll want/need.. However I have a team of others I need to protect as well and they are carrying the brunt of a lot of work.

    I'm also concerned that her attendance may cause her problems if my superiors were somehow alerted. I don't want that either.

    I really don't know what to do. I'm stuck in a hard place right now.

    And yes, my company asks for a lot of trouble in many different ways. HR training of field managers is low. Their idea of that is a help desk, that I originally said is not helpful.
    You can ask her for a health care certification for her absences just as you would for CFRA, but again, her entitlement to the time off is not negotiable. There is no hardship defense to allowing an employee time off for PDL and CFRA. Has her time off thus far been counted against her PDL/FMLA? If not, you need to start counting that time off. Her time off cannot be counted against her in any way, including under any standard attendance policy, so there really can't be any problem if your superiors are alerted.I suggest taking a look at the PDL and CFRA regulations. http://www.fehc.ca.gov/act/regulation.asp

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