Maternity Leave and Disability Benefits: What You Should Know
By Gregory Thyberg on February 24, 2023
Hiring a maternity discrimination lawyer can protect your legal rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated if you have been denied wage replacement benefits or lost your health insurance benefits or job due to pregnancy.
At Thyberg Law in Sacramento, CA, attorney Gregory Thyberg can determine if you have an employment law case and advise you of your next steps. Learn more about paid family leave, disability insurance benefits, and maternity leave.
Time-Off and Paid Leave: Types of Maternity Benefits in California
Here is a handy rundown of maternity benefits in the state of California.
SDI Offers Wage Replacement Benefits
In California, the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term disability benefits for eligible employees who are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury, including pregnancy and childbirth.
During pregnancy and childbirth, eligible employees can receive SDI benefits for up to four weeks before their due date and for up to six weeks after delivery for a vaginal birth or eight weeks after delivery for a cesarean birth.
These benefits are designed to partially replace lost wages during the time an employee is unable to work due to pregnancy and childbirth.
PFL Offers Wage Replacement Benefits
Additionally, California's Paid Family Leave (PFL) program provides up to eight weeks of wage replacement benefits for employees who need to take time off to bond with a new child, including after giving birth.
CFRA and FMLA Provides Job Protection After Pregnancy
In California, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected maternity leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
How Much Paid Leave Will I Receive?
The amount of SDI and PFL benefits you receive is generally based on a percentage of your earnings during a specific base period, which is typically the 12 months prior to your disability.
Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount for SDI and PFL in California is $1,620, as of 2023.
The actual amount you receive will depend on your earnings and the specific details of your claim. SDI and PFL benefits are generally paid at a rate of approximately 60-70% of your regular wages, up to the maximum weekly benefit amount.
Is Health Insurance Protected During Maternity Leave?
Under the FMLA and CFRA, the employer is generally required to maintain the employee's health insurance benefits on the same terms as if the employee were working.
This means that if you are eligible for FMLA or CFRA leave and take maternity leave, your employer is generally required to maintain your health insurance coverage while you are on leave. However, you may be required to continue to pay your portion of the health insurance premiums during the leave period.
It's important to check with your employer's policies and the specific terms of your health insurance plan to understand the details of your health insurance coverage during maternity leave. You may also wish to consult an employment law attorney at our Sacramento office.
Do You Have More Questions About Paid Leave?
Maternity discrimination is illegal under both federal and state law. An experienced attorney can determine if you are eligible for benefits and the protections available to you under the law. If you have suffered financial losses or emotional distress as a result of maternity discrimination, Gregory Thyberg can help you seek compensation for your damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact our Sacramento law office at (916) 204-9173 or send us a message online.