Orange County Babies

Anyone know a lot about CA Maternity Leave?

I called my HR yesterday to understand my maternity benefits and since I am in CA it's more complicated: Basic STD for vaginal or C-Section paid by my co up to 8 weeks. Then there is the national FMLA (6 weeks, unpaid) then there is the Pregnancy Disability Act (12 weeks) in CA that starts before you give birth if you go out on leave but stops once you give birth then starts agian....? Then there is the CA Family Leave Act (different from FMLA) that is up to 16 weeks and that's about when the HR lady lost me....

HR told me though they won't pay under any CA leave HOWEVER, I can apply to CA Social Services for pay reimbursement... anyone know info on this...

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Re: Anyone know a lot about CA Maternity Leave?

  • OK...I may be a little fuzzy, as it's been a little while, but here's how I remember it went for me...

    I had 12 weeks FMLA, which could start, if needed/wanted before giving birth.  So from the moment I left work, I was on FMLA.  I chose to leave 3 weeks before my due date.  After giving birth, I was covered by FMLA for another 9 weeks, I believe.  After that I was on CFRA (California Family Rights Act) that gave me an additional 12 weeks leave from work.  As I remember it, the CA Paid Family Leave ran congruent with CFRA, as PFL is about pay, CFRA is about bonding time.  I am fuzzy on the details, but some of these leaves did overlap and not all were paid...CFRA wasn't paid by my company or the state, but did overlap with the CA paid leave.  I want to say that FMLA and CFRA could even overlap as well, but not sure.  FMLA and my company both paid some money during the first portion of the leave, but my company did not pay under any CA leave.  I believe I applied for the state SDI (?) for that portion of leave, which was incredibly easy.

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  • Also, if you go on CA's EDD site, I believe there will be more info there...

    I know it can be confusing.  My company was based out of NY and I felt they were almost not forthcoming with some information.  Luckily, I had coworkers going through the process right before me!

    Best of luck!

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  • At my company, FMLA and STD run concurrent with eachother. As soon as my doctor writes me off work, my FMLA begins for 12 weeks and I am paid by STD for up to 12 weeks. After those 12 weeks are up, my company offer baby bonding which is an additional 6 weeks paid.  


  • I was off for a total of 18 weeks, all paid. I had a c-section, so there was an extra 2 weeks in there. First, I just had regular state disability. It allows for up to 4 weeks before your due date and then 6 weeks after birth for vaginal or 8 weeks after for c-section. If you give birth early, you do not get those weeks added to the end. I gave birth 2 days before my due date, so I got all that time off. Then, after the 8 weeks was up, they automatically sent me payment for the 6 weeks of Paid Family Leave Act. I believe there is other unpaid time you are allowed (Family Medical Leave Act). I choose not to use that because I couldn't go without being paid.

  • FYI, folks -- for all those ladies working in education, be prepared to be screwed when you apply for disability. According to the state, the only school district that pays into SDI is LAUSD (that shocked me, actually). So, unless you set up disability insurance through your medical insurance or purchase a supplemental policy, your salary accrued during that time doesn't count for squat. Considering SDI goes back 5-17 months PRIOR to when you file the claim, you may want to look into something else. In my case, I got laid off from my teaching job and went into the private sector, but that private work didn't fall under the 5-17 months prior to the claim. So my weekly SDI payout? $101. <SIGH>

  • Ok if you are getting paid by your company for time off either before or after the baby isborn an dit runs in ot the same time as whatever CA offers.. do you get paid double -- like from your company AND CA State?  

    I cannot imagine that....?

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  • Yes, you do. It would be as if you got disability and took vacation at the same time. If your company offers time off (and be EXTREMELY grateful it does!) for maternity leave, you can still get CA state disability insurance.

    I think the idea behind this is that the state offers 55% of your salary. It hopes companies would help offset what you're not making by providing you some sort of compensation, but most companies don't. Instead, people are forced to either 1) bank vacation, 2) bank sick days, or 3) bank both in order to offset what they aren't making from the government.

    Companies aren't required to offer any compensation -- they're only required to provide you a job when you finish your disability. Incidentally, it doesn't have to be the same job.

    Oh, and SDI starts as early as your doctor is willing to sign the paperwork. Don't pay attention to the timelines from the state. My OB wrote my disability paperwork when I was 32 weeks. So that was 8 weeks (actually 7 as we're having a c-section at 39 weeks due to a breech position), plus 8 weeks for my c-section. If you deliver vaginally, it's only 6 weeks. And remember the first 7 days don't count. Don't ask me why! Smile

  • It was my understanding that you can't get the SDI/PFL if you are being compensated by your employer.  The reason it's 55% is that it supposed to be roughly equivalent to your salary minus taxes which are not deducted from the SDI/PFL payments. 

    I suppose it's possible that the rules are different for me because I work for the state, though.  Like mland said, I would go to the EDD website and look it up.  Also, I found them pretty responsive when I called to ask questions.

    ETA: PFL Facts 

  • image Switzerland:

    Ok if you are getting paid by your company for time off either before or after the baby isborn an dit runs in ot the same time as whatever CA offers.. do you get paid double -- like from your company AND CA State?  

    I cannot imagine that....?

    I don't think most companies would let you get paid double.  My company pays my full salary so they require me to sign my CA check over to them. Basically my company is making up for the difference between my full salary and the states 55% (because even with taxes its not equal).  I have talked to friends at other companies and this seems pretty common.

  • image Switzerland:

    Ok if you are getting paid by your company for time off either before or after the baby isborn an dit runs in ot the same time as whatever CA offers.. do you get paid double -- like from your company AND CA State?  

    I cannot imagine that....?

    I was told that you were unable to get more than what you normally make.  For example, if disability pays 55% your sick/vacation time could only pay out 45%.  Does that make sense?  It is all very confusing to me, but I was told that. 

  • FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act - Federal) and CFRA (CA Family Rights Act - State) protect your job and are separate from any pay you get.  They can run concurrently (overlap).  I think of PDL (Pregnancy Disability Leave) as something that falls under FMLA and CFRA.

    SDI (State Disability Insurance) and PFL (Paid Family Leave, aka bonding time) are how you get paid and SDI cannot run concurrently with CFRA.

    For example, you get 12 weeks with FMLA that protects your job and is unpaid.  During that time you are eligible to receive pay at 55% of your rate for 4 weeks of pay prior to your due date and 6 weeks for vaginal or 8 weeks for C-section after you deliver (with doctor's approval).  Your company may have STD benefits that will bring you 'whole' or cover any extended time that the state disability does not cover. (My company paid me for the 7 day waiting period, plus brought me whole while on SDI.)

    Once you are no longer on disability, CFRA begins for job protection.  You will then get 6 weeks paid at 55% through PFL.  Your company may have maternity leave benefits, or allow you to take vacation or sick pay to bring you 'whole'.

    For example:

    If you had a normal vaginal delivery and your doctor let you off work 4 weeks prior to your due date (many do), then you would have 16 weeks off that is paid at 55%, but could take up to 22 weeks off (the last 6 would be unpaid unless your company had benefits) and still have job protection.  If you had a C-section, add 2 weeks, so 18 and 22, respectively.

    Your DH can also take 6 weeks off and get paid through PFL.  Also, for any of those ladies who are adopting, you can use FMLA/CFRA and PFL for the adoption.  The 6 weeks through PFL must be taken within 12 months of the birth or placement for adoption or foster care, but can be taken at any time in 2 week increments as long as your employer agrees.

    The following links I think are helpful:




  • Sorry, I don't know how to quote ... Smile

    From the FAQ for Employers from the EDD Disability Web site: Are employees required by law to use their vacation leave when collecting Disability or Paid Family Leave insurance benefits?
    No, not for Disability Insurance. The law gives an employer the discretion (option) to require an employee to take up to two weeks of earned but unused vacation leave, when the employee is requesting Paid Family Leave.

    You can get your vacation and SDI at the same time (so essentially 155% of your paycheck). It's not designed to make anything "whole" because it would be penalizing you for either 1) taking vacation or 2) taking disability. You should be getting all of your time for taking vacation or sick days. This isn't the case if your company provides maternity benefits. You don't have to take your vacation or sick time, though.

    HOWEVER, you can't get PFL and vacation at the same time. In fact, your employer can request you take your vacation before collecting PFL.

    FYI, you do pay taxes on your disability payments unless your income is below the poverty level. Be careful when filing your taxes!

  • image Switzerland:

    Ok if you are getting paid by your company for time off either before or after the baby isborn an dit runs in ot the same time as whatever CA offers.. do you get paid double -- like from your company AND CA State?  

    I cannot imagine that....?


    i got paid the balance of my salary from my company.  They aren't required to do that, but because i'm salaried, not hourly, they did that. So i got the 55% from the SDI and then 45% from my company.  I get paid weekly from my job, so i was getting that automatically, but then roughly every 14 days i would get the check from the EDD office.

    Your company is also required to pay out (from your vacation hours) anything that you have in excess of 80 hours of vacation before the state will pay  your FMLA absences.  I had 160 hours of vacation, plus 2 additional days off.  I took 2 weeks - 80 hours-  of FMLA (vacation) after my 6 weeks of maternity leave were up before i went back to work at my full salary, not the 55% that the state would have started paying me in that 3rd week. 


    I got lucky and my daughter was born on her due date, so i really was able to maximize my benefits and didn't loose any time off.

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