Pregnancy is usually a very natural state that a woman’s body was created to go through. However, not every woman’s pregnancy experience is the same nor is pregnancy always easy. During your pregnancy, you may have some issues that make it difficult or impossible for you to continue working as you did prior to your pregnancy. If this is the case, you have an option in California called Pregnancy Disability Leave.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing explains Pregnancy Disability Leave is allowable time off from work due to a pregnancy-related disability. It is available for up to four months. It is an additional benefit beyond leave time offered by the federal government.

Pay is not a required component of PDL. You will likely only receive pay if your employer pays other employees for time off due to a disability. However, local laws may require pay or you may qualify for certain state benefits to partially replace your wages.

You may use PDL if you work at a business with five or more employees. You can take the time as needed. You do not have to take all four months at once. You also can take time by the hour, if needed. Your employer cannot make you use paid time off in lieu of PDL, but your employer may require you to use sick leave time.

You do need to inform your employer you wish to take PDL. Your employer may require documentation. When taking PDL, your employer must provide you, in writing, a guarantee that you will return to your same position after taking your leave time. Your employer cannot fire you or put you back into a position that is not comparable to the one you held prior to your leave. This information is for education and is not legal advice.