THE TANGLE OF PREGNANCY LEAVE LAWS
Yesterday I talked about employers who get into trouble for having a "one size fits all" Employee Handbook that doesn't take into account the peculiarities of California law. Here's a real-life example based on a recent case of mine. The employer is nationwide, headquartered in New York. My client worked for a retail outlet in Los Angeles. She got pregnant, and asked how much leave time she could take. The employer told her that she could take 12 weeks total under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The employer failed to tell her that she was entitled to take four months' leave under California's Pregnancy Discrimination Leave Laws (PDLL) for disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth. The Employee Handbook said nothing about the PDLL either. My client was unable to find childcare her first weekend back at work, so the employer fired her for "job abandonment." It turns out that the employer fired her more than a week before her four months of leave would have expired under the PDLL. Also, the California regulations provide that if an employer fails to give notice of an employee's rights under the PDLL, the employer cannot take any adverse action against the employee. We were able to settle the case before any depositions were taken for a confidential amount.
If you believe that your employer has fired you for taking leave related to pregnancy or childbirth, give us a call today to discuss your options.
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Lauren Teukolsky is the founder and owner of Teukolsky Law, A Professional Corporation.