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Maternity Benefits & Parental Leave
This is a list of benefits available to parents in California. Note that all of the payments below depend on your employment status, and whether you qualify for SDI. Some of the benefits also depend on the size of the business you work for. Check the EDD websites below and your HR department for your own specific eligibility.
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I need advice on extending maternity leave. I have taken the fall semester off to have my baby (due late Oct) and want to extend my leave for the spring semester. The university I work for has informally denied my request. Does anyone have advice for me? Another term leave would make a huge difference for me as I am a single mom and have very little support or financial resources to hire help. I am also a first time mom. Please advise, do I have any legal rights and under what circumstances? How can I make a persuasive case? advice needed
My husband is having problems using Paid Family Leave for bonding with our infant son. Specifically, he wants to take intermittent leave (taking every Monday as a family leave day until he runs out of leave). He took this type of intermittent leave for the birth of our first son, and others in his department have done it.
But now his employer says ''intermittent'' means two chunks of time, so they won't let him take Mondays off. They want him to take the rest of his leave in one big chunk. (He has already taken a few days, which they consider the first chunk). Does anyone know if the employer's definition of ''intermittent'' is legal?
Also, when he contacted the state department that runs Paid Family Leave, they said they don't get involved in sorting out this stuff. They said if he wants to pursue it, he should file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing. Has anyone had experience doing filing such a complaint, and if so, is it a career killer?
Any advice greatly appreciated! Jennifer
Then, he should go have another serious talk with the Human Resources Manager (or Director) of his company. He should present all this info to that person and explain he's going to make a formal complaint because the company is not following its own policies/precedents. The DFEH is the right place to file, though he should think about the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - fed equivalent) in SF and filing an FMLA complaint - family medical leave act, if the employer has more than 50 employees. The EEOC gives free early mediation as an option (usually within 3 mths of a complain), which would be perfect for your husband's case. The DFEH offers mediation too, but it's not as well established.
Filing a formal complaint is protected legally from retaliation, however, there are all kinds of informal social repercussions he might be concerned about, depending on his workplace/colleagues. He should first try to work with HR to determine a solution.
Whichever organization he files with, it will take up to a year to have his case investigated, so this really is not a fast solution (which is partly why I suggest the mediation alternative).
This is a very complex area of the law which changes rapidly, so at some point an attorney's advice will be helpful (the above is not legal advice).
PS I'm a mediator; I don't represent clients. Good luck! Claudia
See paidfamilyleave.org for more detail, like this:
6. I need to take care of my mother with dementia, who requires ongoing care. Can I take leave a few hours at a time? Do I have to satisfy the seven-day waiting period each time I take leave?
The law does not establish a minimum number of hours, days or weeks that an employee can take off work to receive PFL benefits. For example, caregivers can receive PFL benefits when they take leave once a week to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or take two weeks of leave, return to work, and take four weeks of leave later. This is known as “intermittent leave.” During intermittent leave, only the days on which you actually provide care for your family member will count toward the seven-day waiting period, which does need not to be consecutive. For example, if you care for your mother every Friday, you would serve the seven-day waiting period over seven weeks. Once you have satisfied the seven-day waiting period, you will receive PFL benefits for any subsequent days you miss work to care for your mother.
Caregivers only need to satisfy the seven-day waiting period once in a twelve-month period, unless they wish to establish a claim to provide care for a different care recipient. Happy part-time PFLer
I'd suggest that your husband document everything -- in WRITING -- that he wants to do, and also require a response from his employer IN WRITING. Depending on his relationship with his employer he might be able to get them to point out in the FMLA laws what they are basing their decision on. We've found that a lot of it can just be what people ''think'' is right (not necessarily trying to be malicious), not becuase they have actually properly read the laws. Good luck! baby bonding is good!
I am wondering if anyone can share their knowledge about what maternity/parental leave benefits I would qualify for if I don't plan on returning to my job after the birth of a child? My co- worker just went out on maternity leave, a month in advance of her child's birth. By combining company paid time off, disability, CA FMLA, and federal PFL, (and something else?), she was able to arrange for nearly 6 months of paid time home before delivery and with her new baby. I have been in this job for over 5 years, but due to restructuring, I already know my job will not be here in 6 months. I would like to take maternity leave a month prior to my baby's birth, which is 4 months prior to my job becoming non-existant. Can I get all the same paid benefits as my co-worker even if I don't return to my job? If not, what do I qualify for and/or how can I maximize paid time off? Thanks in advance and any detail you can share would be fabulous. mother to be
I am expecting my first baby the end of May, and I had some questions regarding going on disability and paid family leave. I will be taking maternity leave (un-paid) from my job and I am just not sure how to best take advantage of my options. I checked with my employer and I am eligible for the paid family leave, but should I go on disability first and then the paid family leave? How do I do this? Where are the forms? When do I return the forms - before I take the leave or after? I'm also (unbeknownst to my employer) thinking of not going back after I have the baby...will this affect my getting the leave (I will not be telling them I'm not coming back until near the end of my four months maternity leave)? I know it's a little shady but I just can't stand my job and will be taking some time with my baby and looking for another job. Advice from anyone who has gone through this or who knows what to do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Need maternity leave advice
-4 weeks before your due date you can go on CA SDI (state disability insurance) and you will get about 55% of your pay through disability. You file the paperwork and your dr. gives the ok.
-you give birth and if natural you get 6 weeks, if a c-section, you get 8 weeks of CA SDI, again 55% of your pay. so during this 10-12 weeks of receiving CA SDI, the FMLA takes place which is a federal benefit that gives you 12 weeks of job protection and company benefits - they still need to pay your health benefits.
-after the 10-12 weeks on CA disability, you can then apply for the 6 weeks of baby bonding, which is known as the Paid Family Leave (PFL). don't forget, your husband can apply for this as well! again, you will receive 55% of your pay. After FMLA expires, the CFRA (california Family Rights act) kicks in. This gives you 12 weeks of job protection and again company needs to keep paying your health benefits.
-so in the end, you can get up to 18 weeks of partial pay and 24 weeks of job protection and benefits. feel free to email me with any questions! pixshim77
Here's what I did. I have Kaiser and obtained the disability forms through the business office there. If you don't have Kaiser, just ask your doctor about this. He or she will know. In normal pregnancies you are usually eligible for disability up to a month before your due date if you've stopped working by then and for six weeks past the date you actually give birth. I think that when you fill out the disability form there's a box to check that you want paid family leave once disability benefits end and the state will then send you those forms. If not, just search on the web and you will find the information you need to obtain the paid family leave application. Only after the state benefits ran out did my employer pay me my two weeks of maternity leave. If I had received that money earlier, it would have limited the amount of disability benefits I could have received.
As far as the ethics of knowing that I wasn't going back and not telling my employer, I felt enormously relieved that just as I was grappling with this issue the New York Times Sunday Magazine Ethicist addressed it and said that was just fine. Any maternity leave benefits I received I had already accrued through the work I had already performed, like paid vacation time. They were not contingent on my returning. I did however put my baby on my husband's health insurance plan from the beginning and would have put myself on his plan once I got clarity about not going back but then he got laid off and for a little while before he found another job it looked like I might actually be going back to work. You just never know what the future holds. anonymous
In my experience, if your employer has extended-illness benefits, these get used first, for the first 40 hours of maternity leave, then it swaps over to vacation/paid-time off combined with state disability payments and when disability and paid-time off run out, you can apply for PFL/CFRA for an additional number of weeks.
State Disability usually extends for the period of 6 weeks mandated by the FMLA and PFL/CFRA extends for up to an additional 4-6 weeks.
You can get your State Disability and PFL forms from EDD: http://www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaimdi.htm http://www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaimpfl.htm
There's more information about which forms to use and the various deadlines for applying for leave/submitting a claim on the website.
Pay close attention to the dates and be sure to apply in advance of when you'll need the benefits, because there's an 8-day waiting period before they kick in. Beth
Basically there are 4 types of leaves: (1) California Short Term Disability Insurance (SDI) for 4 + 6 weeks; (2) Paid Family Leave (PFL) for 6 weeks; (3) Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for 12 weeks; and (4) California Family Rights Act (CFRA) for 12 weeks. SDI and PFL are partially paid (by the State) depending on your salary. Your employer may supplement your SDI depending on your benefits (mine did, so I got 75% pay during SDI). FMLA and CFRA are not paid. SDI has to be taken concurrently with FMLA and PFL has to be taken concurrently with CFRA. FMLA begins as soon as you go on leave (before or after birth) and CFRA begins after SDI ends after birth of baby.
Under SDI, you are allowed upto 4 weeks off before your due date and upto 6 weeks (for normal delivery) or 8 weeks (c-section) off after the birth of your baby. Remember, if you choose not to take the 4 weeks off before your due date, you cannot take it later (its use or loose). After SDI ends, you are allowed PFL for an additional 6 weeks (you can take this all in one go or intermittently up to 1 year of your baby's birth). So if you take 4 weeks off before your due date, then 6 weeks off after birth, you have used up 10 of your 12 FMLA weeks and have 2 weeks left still. If you start PFL right after SDI ends, you are also on CFRA (and overlapping with the leftover FMLA). After 6 weeks of PFL, you still have 6 weeks of CFRA left.
If you follow this, you will get a total of 22 weeks (4 (SDI & FMLA before birth) + 6 (SDI & FMLA after birth) + 6 (PFL & CFRA & 2 weeks FMLA) + 6 (CFRA)). malapat
I am curious if anyone knows anything about money one can apply for after disability runs out. A coworker said she was able to apply for an extra $700 or so in connection to the Family Medical Leave Act. SHe says she does not remember how she did it though. I also saw 2 postings on BPN about this other funds and I was wondering if anyone can offer me some specific advice as to how to apply for it. I could REALLY use it. U haven't had any luck with the FMLA because when I look it up, it only mentions that I have the right to have time of but it doesn't appear to talk about available financial support. I would be grateful for any information you may have. Thanks! Nicole
Everything you need to know about the program, including how PFL interacts with pregnancy-related disability, how to apply and necessary forms, is available at www.paidfamilyleave.org. Catherine
Don't forget that Daddy can take PFL too! Working Mom
Of course, if you are faculty, there is a provision for modified duties that will give you full pay and forgive your teaching responsibilities. If you work at UC and are not faculty, the glow of knowing you're engaged in public service is supposed to be enough. anonymous
I am due in November with my first child and am having a very difficult time understanding the maximum amount of time I am able to take off from work both before and after the birth. I would appreciate information or resources available to help me understand FMLA, time covered by State disability and CFRA. Thank you!!! Gretchen
Regarding compensation - the state will pay you approximately 60% of your income for this entire period (4+6+6 weeks). If you want the exact amount then you should contact the specific agency (I forget the name now).
Based on your employment contract your employer may further compensate you. Typically employers will ''top-off'' your compensation for the 6 weeks post-delivery recovery period. Essentially the state will pay the first 50-60-odd% and your employer will pay the rest. One should receive two separate checks that will sum up to the total salary one received prior to maternity leave. Sometimes employers will cover the 4 weeks prior to delivery too - you should check that with yours. Good luck with your delivery! PalPakk
If a job is ''at will'' but includes standard benefits, does this include maturity leave?
The job listing caveats:
This is an exempt full time temporary position which includes medical/dental, life insurance and other benefits as specified by the employer. Although the anticipated end date of the National project is March 31, 2007, business conditions and/or the nature of the work assignments may extend the date through December 31, 2008. Employment will be ''at will''. I am not sure how to interpret this... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Federal and Calif. labor law mandates leave for birth (or adoption) of a child up to 12 weeks including two weeks before due date (or more if you are ''disabled'' from bed-rest, cesaerean, other complications that a MD would have to verify.)
Most employers do not offer any pay during this mandated leave, but you are eligible for State Disability insurance (look at EDD website to see your rights and amount of benefits.) Some employers continue to pay for medical coverage during the leave, or may make you pay the medical coverage during the leave. anon
The FMLA provides eligible employees with 12 unpaid workweeks of job-protected leave during any 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child; the foster care of a child; the care of a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent; or an employee's own serious illness. Only workers who (1) have at least 12 months of tenure with their employer; (2) have worked at least 1,250 hours for their employer during the 12 months preceding the leave period; and (3) work for an employer who employs at least 50 people within a 75-mile radius of the employee's work site are eligible for FMLA leave. goodluck!
Do I have to pay federal or State taxes on California State Disability Insurance payments (SDI). I just had a baby in November 2005. I have been receiving California Disability checks during my Maternity Leave. I don't think I need to pay Federal or State taxes on this money, but I thought I'd double- check to see if any others know for sure. Thanks much, Danielle
Unemployment compensation payments are taxable for federal tax and tax-free for California state tax.
Circular 230 Disclosure: To insure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. If you require an opinion that can be relied upon to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue code, please contact this office to discuss the additional work that will need to be performed. Maria U. Ku, CPA
My HR dept gets a lot of things wrong about all of this stuff, so I'm not confident this was correct information, but I'd really like to know!
Also - while we're on the subject, they told me the max state pregnancy disability (not including FMLA) is 4 months (before and after combined). I've heard that my doctor can extend it if necessary. Does anyone know? It's very hard to sort this stuff out.
Thanks. Confused about Pregnancy Disability
FMLA is a federal law. Under FMLA, you can get 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave for baby bonding or care for your own or a family member's serious health condition. If you go out on disability because of pregnancy (i.e. because of your own serious health condition), that time counts against your 12 weeks.
In California, you can have 4 months of unpaid Pregnancy Disability Leave as well as 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the California Family Rights Act(CA's version of the FMLA). Theoretically, you can have protected status for 7 months (e.g. bedrest for pregnancy for 4 months and baby bonding for 12 weeks.)Any leave taken under CFRA or PDL would run concurrently with FMLA (i.e. you don't get 12 free weeks of FMLA to add on to what you receive under CA law)
Because California law provides more rights than federal law, California law will apply with some exceptions (e.g. you are a federal employee.)
Whether or not you can receive state disability as income replacement depends on whether or not you meet the EDD's (Employment Development Department) guidelines. You can receive payments while your pregnant if you are disabled by your pregnancy. I believe you can receive 6 weeks of disability benefits for a vaginal birth and 8 weeks for a cesarean. If you are still disabled, you may be eligible for additional payments.
Hope this helps. Anon
Hi, I wondering if there is such thing as paid maternity leave for self-employed mom-to-be? I have been working for myself since 98 and wondered if my tax dollars would work for me in this situation. If any of you know about this issue and who to contact I would be very appreciative. I haven't lived in this country for very long and the system can be a little difficult to navigate sometimes. Thank you, French mom to be
Does anyone understand the new maternity leave laws? I work for a place that just follows California and Federal laws. As I understand it the new California law allows 4 months in addition to the federal 12 weeks. Is it true that I should be able to take a total of 7 months after birth, job protected? I know I don't qualify for much paid leave, but I just want the time with my new baby. Wondering
Good Luck! There should be a law automatically that all new mothers can stay home for 1 full year with their child with full pay!!!!!!!!! Now that's the President I would of voted for! Shelly
This is unless something has changed very recently...I'm finishing my maternity leave now. new mom
Here's how it goes:
-4 weeks before your due date you can go on CA SDI (state disability insurance). You will get about 55% of your pay through disability. You file the paperwork and your dr. gives the ok. You don't have to be on bedrest to get this too! This holds your job and if your company pays group health bennies, they have to keep paying (yeah!)
- from when you first take any leave, the FMLA takes place. This is the federal leave that gives you 12 weeks of job protection and if your company pays group health benefits, they have to keep going.
-after the birth, CA gives you 6 weeks disability, 8 if you have a C section. This is just like the pre-birth disability, you get a portion of your pay (will be up to $800+ by 2005), plus benefits. Now, FMLA is still running for you too, holding your job through the Feds.
- After the 6 week post birth disability, you are eligible for 6 weeks for Baby Bonding! This is also through disability (you'll get some info in the mail, from what I hear). This is also a supplementary program (I think it's partial pay). It doesn't hold your job for you, just gives you support. It's the Paid Family Leave. It would work if you had to care for a sick parent or spouse too.
- After your 6 week post birth disability, CFRA (california Family Rights act) kicks in. This gives you 12 weeks of job protection. According to what I read, the company has to keep giving you health bennies, but my HR person argues with me. So we are asking some employment attorney friends to help us with this. So, this starts once you are done with the post birth disability.
Here is how my leave will be:
Due date: Feb. 4 pre-birth leave: Jan. 7 (for weeks from due date) (FMLA starts now) post birth disability: Feb. 4- March 17 March 18 CFRA job protection for 12 weeks begins (ends on June 9) March 29th PFL starts (you have to wait 7 days for it to start) March 31 FMLA runs out May 9, PFL runs out.So, from mid May to mid June I am without any supplemental pay, but job is protected thanks to CFRA!
So yes, Virginia you can take a nice long leave and have your job.
The best place to see is the CA department of Fair housing and Employment and there is a Fed. website too, although really the CA benefits are much nicer for us.
I work for a small non-profit and I'm going to be going on maternity leave starting in July. My group has never dealt with a pregnant employee before, so there's no policy and we're all pretty clueless about what to do. Should I apply for disability? If so, when? Should I apply for Paid Family Leave instead, or after I finish with my disability? Do I have to use my accrued sick hours before I can apply for either of these? The bureaucracy is boggling to me, and of course the Paid Family Leave guidelines all change right as I'm going on leave -- perfect. I realize everyone is in different situations, but I'd love even some perspectives on how other parents navigated these systems. Thanks so much. Pregnant and Puzzled
If there are more than 50 employees and you've been employed for a year, you are eligible for FMLA under federal law, which means that you can take 12 weeks of leave (though your employer can choose to pay you or require you to use sick leave or vacation time on the books, depending on their policy). If you're less than 50 employees but at least 14, California still requires that you have a certain number of weeks of leave under the pregnancy disability law for the state. I think it's 8 weeks. (My numbers may not be exactly right, but you get the idea. California law covers all employers, federal law only the bigger employers.) Your employer is legally required to have all of this stuff posted in an obvious location, so they should get the posters out of the file and figure out their policy (and post them!!). The money part is different. You're eligible for disability pay if you or your employer pays into SDI for the year prior to your disability. My employer did, so I applied. It's very easy to apply and you and get the information you need from the EDD website. Your doctor needs to sign it and you send it in. You can get paid for your time off and it's totally worth applying for if you're eligible. My employer required me to use my leave balance so that I would get paid and this didn't count against the disability pay unless it was sick leave. The new state paid family leave is administered in a similar way to SDI, so I'd suggest checking the EDD website to figure out whether it replaces or coordinates with SDI.
Don't worry--You can figure it out! Lori
Family leave benefits can be claimed for any 6 weeks (and they don't have to be consecutive) in the year following the baby's birth, at any time after July 1, 2004. Some of the technicalities of this program, such as when to file the application, are less clear because it *is* brand new, but it's clear that when used in conjunction with SDI, you claim the SDI first and then the family leave.
As far as I know, you are not required to use any sick leave benefits (or vacation time or any other similar benefit) before claiming SDI benefits. But you must represent to the State that you are not receiving any wages, salary, sick pay or vacation pay from your usual employer while you are on leave. So if you plan to get some of your leave paid as sick time, you cannot concurrently claim SDI benefits or family leave benefits. I would suggest claiming the SDI first and then use the sick time to extend your leave, if your employer is willing to do it that way. Alternatively, you could just keep your accrued sick time and use it after you've returned to work in order to stay home with your baby when the baby is sick. :-)
All of the necesssary forms and instructions, as well as some helpful FAQs, are available on the EDD website. In Similar Circumstances
Knowing that Bay Area residents are aware of their rights better than anybody else in the country, I would like to ask for an advice on paid maternity leave. Recently this issue was discussed in the press. But if somebody could recap it for me I would be grateful. In particular I am interested in who is entitled, who pays, for how long and how much. Does it work for part time employees? What about paid paternity leave? Thanks. Alex
1. California State Disability Insurance (SDI) - This is the pay that most people get while they are off work due to pregnancy & childbirth. You can collect this only if it has been withheld from your paycheck for the required amount of time before going on leave. (Look for "SDI" on your payroll receipt) Some employees are not eligible to have SDI withheld, such as employees of the State of California (i.e., UC Berkeley employees). The length of time this pays usually depends on a statement from your doctor.
Beginning July 1, 2004, the Paid Family Leave Insurance Program kicks in with maternity benefits for SDI-covered employees. See this website: http://www.edd.ca.gov/direp/pflind.asp
2. Employer-Provided Disability Insurance - If your employer provides their own insurance, and you signed up for it, you may be able to collect this while you are off. You may have to pay premiums to be eligible for this. At UC Berkeley, disability benefits are available for maternity leave but you must sign up in advance and pay premiums for them. You will probably need medical certification.
3. Paid leave - most employers will allow you to use accrued vacation and sick days for maternity and paternity leave but it is up to the employer. Many will let you also take "advanced" leave that you have not accumulated yet.
4. Unpaid leave - there are several state and federal laws that allow you to take off for up to 28 weeks without penalty, such as:
5. Paid maternity/paternity benefits - Some employers provide this pay as a perk in addition to sick and vacation, or as part of a cafeteria benefits program. Just depends on the employer. We don't hear of this too often on the Parents Net list, but it's worth asking your HR department about if you aren't sure.
6. Academic leave - Some schools will continue paying students their research salary or TA salary, or faculty their salary, for the rest of the semester that the baby is born in. It depends on the department and the school.
Hope that helps
Where can I find out information about maternity leave? I had heard that some employers can make you pay back medical benefits if you quit after the leave. Is this true in California and are there other things to consider if I decide to discontinue my employment after the baby is born.
Here's info on the Cal Family Rights Act: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Statutes/cfra.asp
and here's info on SDI (pregnancy is considered a ''disability''!): http://www.edd.cahwnet.gov/dicfp.htm Research carefully and Good luck! Suzy
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