It’s the same in every state, California employer must comply with the federal FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act. This will allow eligible employees to take an unpaid leave, for certain reasons with the right to reinstatement. Also, California has multiple laws that will give employees the right to take leave for family and health reasons. You are entitled to the rights set out in the most protective law if you are an employee covered by more that one of these laws.

Pregnant woman at work

Employees in California may be covered under either the federal Family Medical Leave Act, or the California Family Rights Act. Both Acts are substantially the same. However, there are significant differences which may apply to particular employees.

Generally, the federal and California Family Medical Leave laws require each covered employer to permit eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of leave during a twelve month period for certain specified purposes. Leave may be taken to care for an employee’s newborn child; to care for a child placed with the employee for adoption or foster care; to care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; or for the “employee’s own serious health condition” that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position.

In California however, pregnancy is not included in the term “employees own serious health condition.” Such employees’ rights are set forth in the Government Code 12945.2. A female employee in California may receive up to four months of pregnancy disability leave, plus up to twelve weeks of California Family Rights leave to care for her newborn child, if she is eligible for California Family Rights Act leave.