Answers To Maternity Leave FAQs

1. What questions should I ask human resources (HR)?

While there are many questions to ask, and you should take notes during your meeting, here are the top three.

  • How will you get paid during your maternity leave?
  • What is the maximum time away you can take?
  • How will your health insurance be paid for while you are on leave?

2. What is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

The FMLA is a legislative act which provides for "up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12 month period." In California the medical leave law provides for up to six weeks of paid leave to care for a baby, child or other family member.

3. What is Paid Family Leave (PFL)?

Also known as the Family Temporary Disability Insurance program, California paid family leave is an extension of the unemployment disability compensation program. PFL allows you, as an employee, up to six weeks of paid benefits to care for your new baby, adopted child or ill family member. It is separate from the FMLA and CFRA and does not affect either of those. These benefits equal approximately 55 percent of your earnings with weekly maximums.

4. What is the difference between FMLA and PFL?

FMLA is a federal law and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a state law. They can run concurrently or individually. PFL is an extension of unemployment disability and must be taken concurrently with the FMLA and CFRA.

5. How much time can I take off with each?

Both the FMLA and the CFRA allow you as an employee to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. An attorney can answer specific questions regarding your situation and what will be covered under these programs.

6. What if I have only worked at the company a short time?

According to FMLA an employer is not required to offer maternity leave if you have been at the job for less than a year. Any employer with fewer than 50 employees is also exempt.

7. Can I break up my six weeks of leave time?
Yes. Many people do not realize these six weeks do not have to all be taken at the same time.

8. How many hours a week do I need to work to qualify for FMLA protection?

You need to have worked 1250 hours in the 12 months before the start of your leave.

9. Do my months of working need to be consecutive?

No. You only need to have worked for the employer for 12 months.

10. My manager said that even though I am full time and have been at the company over a year I cannot get paid for more than my sick time if I have a baby.

If you have been at a company with more than 50 employees for over a year then you are entitled to paid time off when you have a baby. Consult with an attorney who handles discrimination cases if you are being withheld benefits, given misleading information or are being discriminated against because of a pregnancy at your workplace.

Work With An Established Firm

At The Armstrong Law Firm, we are passionate lawyers who are the most knowledgeable and established employee-only law firms in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. If you have any questions or concern about Bay Area maternity leave in the workplace, call the firm that works specifically in this area.

Questions? We are happy to answer your maternity leave FAQs or other questions. Call the firm at 415-692-0462 for a free consultation. Or email us and we will respond promptly, usually within 24 hours.