Pregnancy Disability Leave

Under Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) policy, there are significant protections for pregnant employees. Essentially, it is illegal to discriminate or retaliate against an employee due to pregnancy. Harassing and wrongfully terminating a pregnant employee is also illegal. If an employee becomes pregnant, it is her right to take a pregnancy disability leave. A doctor or other health care provider ultimately determines whether an employee is disabled by pregnancy.

Employers with five or more employees are required to provide pregnancy disability leave. If an employer has less than five employees, they still may need to follow public policy when it comes to PDL. In general, employers are not mandated to pay employees during PDL. Nonetheless, it is crucial for a covered employer to provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant employee. If an employer provides other paid leaves due to disabilities, they are also required to provide paid PDL.

Generally, four months is the maximum amount of time for a pregnancy disability leave. It is important to note that the four months applies to each individual pregnancy and is not a time allotment for each year. Moreover, the four months of a PDL does not need to be taken consecutively. It may be taken sporadically and only when needed. PDL does not include time to bond with your child. It only includes time when a woman is unable to work due to pregnancy-related health conditions.

Like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a woman should try to provide a 30-day notice to their employer before taking PDL. It is an employee’s responsibility to make a reasonable effort to schedule medical treatment at a time that will have a minimal disruption on the company’s operation. Of course, it is sometimes impossible to anticipate and plan for PDL. Therefore, an employer cannot deny PDL based on an employee’s inability to provide advance notice of the need for the leave.

If their employer is covered, an employee is eligible for PDL at the beginning of their employment relationship. After granting PDL, employers are required to reinstate the employee to the same position after returning. They must also continue the employee’s earned benefits. If reinstating the employee to the same position would cause excessive harm to the company, then the employer is usually required to provide the employee with a comparable position.