maternity leave

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maternity leave

so my employer says that i can only have 5 weeks off for maternity leave and i was just wondering if this is true and if not how much can i take and what should i tell them?

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 14 years ago | Contributor

If you are a covered employee and your employer is covered: you can take up to 12 weeks unpaid maternity leave.  See the links below:


Under California law, pregnant women can take a pregnancy disability leave if needed during their pregnancy. Up to four months can be taken off due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Reasons to take the leave include:

  • Severe morning sickness
  • Prenatal care
  • Physician-ordered bed rest
  • Childbirth
  • Recovery from childbirth

To take this California maternity leave, a woman must be incapable of doing at least one essential job task without risk to herself, her unborn child, or others


In fact, in California you can take up to more time off if you qualify.


Workers who participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) Program are entitled to a maximum of six weeks of partial pay each year while taking time off from work to:

  • Bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster child
    (both parents)
  • Care for a seriously ill parent, child, spouse or registered domestic partner

Most workers will receive approximately 55% of their pre-taxed weekly wage, up to a maximum of $917 while on leave.

The Paid Family Leave Program is administered by the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) a state agency, not the employer.


So, ultimately, if your employer is threatening you with this, contact the California Employment Development Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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