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Understanding Your PDL Rights in California

At Hall Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees under the Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law in California. California offers some of the most robust legal protections for pregnant employees in the nation, ensuring they can take necessary leave without fear of losing their job or facing retaliation. Our goal is to help you understand your PDL rights and provide the support you need if your employer violates these rights.

What is Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)?

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) is a California state law that requires employers to provide up to four months of unpaid, job-protected leave to employees who are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. PDL is designed to allow employees to take the necessary time off for their health and the health of their baby without fear of job loss.

Who is Eligible for PDL?

To be eligible for PDL, employees must meet the following criteria:

Work for a Covered Employer

The employer must have at least five employees.

Duration of Employment

There are no minimum duration or hours worked requirements for PDL eligibility. Any employee working for a covered employer is eligible from their first day on the job.

Reasons for Taking PDL

Eligible employees can take PDL for any of the following reasons:

Pregnancy-Related Disabilities

Conditions such as severe morning sickness, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or post-partum depression.


The period of recovery after childbirth, including both vaginal and cesarean deliveries.

Related Medical Conditions

Any other medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, as determined by a healthcare provider.

Rights and Protections Under PDL

As an employee in California, you have several critical rights and protections under PDL:

Job Protection

You have the right to return to the same or a comparable job at the end of your PDL. This includes maintaining the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Duration of Leave

You are entitled to up to four months (or 17.3 weeks) of unpaid leave per pregnancy.

Health Benefits

Your employer must continue your group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if you had not taken leave.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related disabilities, such as modifying job duties, providing additional breaks, or offering a temporary transfer to a less strenuous position.

No Retaliation

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against you for taking PDL. This includes any adverse actions such as termination, demotion, or harassment.

Interaction with Other Leave Laws

PDL can interact with other leave laws to provide additional protections and benefits:

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

After PDL, you may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of additional leave under CFRA for bonding with your newborn. This leave is separate from PDL and provides further job protection and health benefits continuation.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

If you are eligible for FMLA, your PDL can run concurrently with FMLA leave. However, FMLA does not extend the duration of your leave beyond what is provided by PDL and CFRA.

Violations of PDL Rights

If your employer violates your PDL rights, you have several options to seek redress:

Internal Complaint

You can file a complaint with your employer’s human resources department or follow the company’s internal grievance procedures.

Government Complaint

You can file a complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), which is responsible for enforcing PDL.

Legal Action

You have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer in state court. Remedies may include job reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and other appropriate relief.

How We Can Help

Our experienced employment and labor law attorneys are dedicated to advocating for employees' rights under PDL. We understand the complexities of PDL regulations and the significant impact that violations can have on your career and personal life. We are here to provide the support and legal expertise you need.

We offer a comprehensive range of services to support employees facing PDL violations, including:

Case Evaluation

Conducting a thorough assessment of your situation to determine the best legal strategy.

Legal Representation

Representing you in negotiations, administrative proceedings, and court if necessary.


Advocating for your fair treatment and compliance with PDL regulations in your former or current workplace in and out of court.

Contact Us

If you believe your PDL rights have been violated, we are here to help. Contact our firm today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Together, we can fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the justice and fair treatment you deserve.

PDL is a vital protection for employees facing the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. Let us stand with you in your pursuit of justice and ensure that your rights are fully protected.

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