Can I collect Vacation hours while collecting Disability insurance while on maternity leave in California?

I collected 80 hours of vacation time while on maternity leave and collecting disability pay, My work says you cant do that and is now taking my next pay check... is that right? I was under the understanding I can collect vacation, not sick pay

1 answer  |  asked Jan 12, 2016 11:22 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
It might depend on what kind of disability pay you are referring to, as well as what your employer's vacation policy entails. Have you asked your employer the reason you cannot collect both?

Also, pregnancy discrimination is unlawful under California and federal law.

FEDERAL RIGHTS: In 1978, Congress amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17, by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, "discrimination" means to treat a pregnant employee differently from non-pregnant employees, and adversely. The employee must be able to make a connection between the discriminatory treatment and the protected status (being pregnant). In other words, the employee will have to show that her pregnancy is reason the employer is treating her adversely. There are various ways to do this. Negative comments from supervisors or management; a sudden change in treatment (for the worse) as soon as or shortly after the employer learns about the pregnancy or the effects of pregnancy; or other incriminating conduct. Note it is not unlawful for an employer to apply the same leave of absence policy to pregnant and non-pregnant employees.

For information on pregnancy discrimination, see:
http://eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm

For information on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, see:
http://eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/pregnancy.cfm

This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). www.EEOC.gov

Under federal law, leave taken for an employee's incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions is governed by the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. section 2101 et seq. (FMLA), just like leave for any other “serious health condition” of an employee. See my Avvo guide to the FMLA for more information: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/family-and-medical-leave-fmla-summary-of-key-provisions or http://i.oc.gs/rodat

CALIFORNIA RIGHTS: California employers must comply with federal law, as above, and also must comply with state law. The California pregnancy disability leave law, Government Code section 12945(a) (PDLL), is part of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Government Code sections 12900, et seq. (FEHA). The PDLL requires employers to provide employees up to four months of unpaid leave for disability caused by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical conditions.

Under some circumstances, an employer may be required to transfer an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions to a different job.

California has its own family and medical leave law, the California Family Rights Act, Government Code section 12945.2 (CFRA). It is substantially similar to the FMLA, but an employee's incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition is not included in the definition of “serious health condition.” This is usually beneficial to the employee because CFRA leave and pregnancy disability leave are two separate and distinct rights under California law. They do NOT run concurrently, as they do under the FMLA. Instead, an employee in California may take four months of PDLL plus 12 weeks of family leave, provided of course that the employee meets the other conditions of these laws.

Please look at my guide to unlawful discrimination under California law: http://www.thespencerlawfirm.com/tslf-discrimination-california.php which should help you understand lawful and unlawful discrimination, how to pursue a claim, and time limits.

Employment law is complicated and fact specific. You may wish to speak with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is www.cela.org, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Jan 16, 2016 11:10 PM [EST]

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