Employer Forcing Early Return from Maternity Leave - California

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Employer Forcing Early Return from Maternity Leave - California

Post  OverTheStars on Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:11 am

My friend just recently had her baby on May 20, 2009. She went on leave (presumably PDL) on April 27, 2009.

After doing a song and dance with HR as to what kind of leave she was using when and trying to get paper work in order (which at the time of this writing, HR still hadn't squared away) it was understood with HR and Aetna that the return to work date would be August 12, 2009; she was only going to take 3 months. HR even said she could take the extra 4 weeks if she agreed, but she declined.

Now HR is saying she has to return on July 22 otherwise her job will no longer be "protected." Corporate (which is in Florida) sent both my friend and HR letters saying this new return date was in effect. My friend has already had trouble with corporate trying to give her PDL under Florida law despite the fact that we reside in California and now all of a sudden they change the date and will only be given 2 months FMLA/CFRA, something she never agreed to.

Can this new return to work date be legally imposed on her? Can she fight this so she can get her extra month like she had planned? What, if anything, isn't legal here? Question Question
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Re: Employer Forcing Early Return from Maternity Leave - California

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:46 pm

Pregnancy disability leaves under the PDLL run concurrently with leave taken under the FMLA.
So an employee takes 12 weeks of leave due to her pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition and the employer gives the proper FMLA notices, the employee will have exhausted her annual entitlement to FMLA leave and will have exhausted 12 weeks of the fourt month PDLL leave entitlement.

Since CFRA doesn't run concurrently with PDLL, CFRA can be taken after PDLL leave. Following a pregnancy disability leave, an employee will still have the right to take a CFRA leave of up to 12 weeks "for reason of the birth of her child, if the child has been born by this date" assuming, of course, that the CFRA leave rights were not exhausted during that year prior to the pregnancy disability leave.

If the maximum amount of both types of leave is taken, the maximum total leave entitlement will be 4 months plus 12 workweeks (4 months of pregnancy disability leave under the PDLL, of which 12 weeks may also be FMLA leave plus 12 workweeks of CFRA leave).
An employee is only entitled to use the maximum amount of pregnancy disability leave if she was actually disabled by pregnancy for four months, and is entitled to CFRA leave only if she meets CFRA eligibiltiy rules and has not previously used the CFRA leave for another purpose.

The PDL should not count toward FMLA leave I am not sure about PDLL, or CFRA.
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Re: Employer Forcing Early Return from Maternity Leave - California

Post  OverTheStars on Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:16 am

yeah, this is actually the first time in the three years that she's worked here that she's taken any kind of leave besides sick days. She had never applied for or recieved FMLA before, let alone this year so she should have been entitled to her full amount. So are they trying to say that the leaves were running concurrently and that they're counting from April 27 when she left instead of from May 20 when the baby was born? Ergo it's been four months and she's due back to work because of it? (The doctor was the one who set the April date; our corporate offices are coming up with the return date of July 22, and are requesting a doctor's note for that as well that states she can come back) Sorry, the different leaves still confuse me. I'm trying to sketch a bar graph or comparison chart that illustrates my understanding of the leaves in context of an overall leave of absence. Once I'm done I'll post and maybe someone can correct me.
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Americans with Dissabilities Act

Post  Eric on Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:19 am

You dont need to rely soley on FMLA. Asking for time off from work is a reasonable accomodation under the Americans with Dissabilities Act.

As long as your dissability substantially limits an essential life activity your good to go. The ADAAA greatly expanded what is considered to be an essential life activity while rolling back the Courts decisions that have sought to limit the application of the ADA.

Just ask for a reasonable accomodation of additional time off.

Thats all not to mention the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Good luck.

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Re: Employer Forcing Early Return from Maternity Leave - California

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