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California Maternity Leave benefits

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Can any California moms explain how your maternity leave benefits work?  My HR has done nothing but confuse me and the state website is even more confusing. 

 

From what I can tell, I'll get 55-60% of my pay, but is that based on my gross or my net?  For how long after the baby is born can I get paid?  I'm planning on working up to my due date to maximize time at home after the baby is born.  I'm the only breadwinner since my husband has been unemployed for two years.  We have a little bit of savings from our tax return, but it is tight in this economy and I REALLY don't want to have to go to work right away if I can avoid it.

 

Any info you can be provide would be most helpful.

post #2 of 6

I'm also incredibly confused by this topic...  I work for a large, multi-national company, so you'd think their HR department would be able to give me a straight answer...

 

So anyway, I did a bunch of googling and came up with this website that was more helpful:

 

http://www.whosthebossblog.com/my_weblog/2010/09/understanding-maternity-leave-in-california.html

 

This website says that state disability and paid family leave are both 55% of your salary but doesn't specify whether it's calculated pre- or post-taxes.

 

What I don't yet understand is:  For those of us who are paying into the CA state disability fund, we're supposedly entitled to up to 4 weeks of leave BEFORE our due date.  No medical reason is needed.  Use-it or lose-it;  you can't add those 4 weeks on to the 6-8 weeks of disability.  However, when I asked about this, HR told me that it would burn up some of my postpartum leave!  If anyone can explain how this works, it would be much appreciated!

post #3 of 6

Call the state. They are actually really helpful.

 

And you are not entitled to four weeks of pre-birth leave, although a lot of websites say that. You can get benefits if you have a *medical reason*. Being pregnant and third trimester isn't one of them.

 

And get that paperwork after your birth  ASAP.

post #4 of 6

If you are confused about your maternity leave you should visit www.milkyourbenefits.com. Lauren can help answer all of your questions and craft a plan so that you maximize your time and income while on leave. Check it out!

post #5 of 6

Hi everyone! The whole benefits/leave thing is very confusing. I went through this all about a year ago, so I am only speaking to what my experience was. I also work in HR so I had a little extra help on my side;)

 

In CA, you are eligible for 4 weeks of leave PRIOR to the birth of your child. All your doctor has to do is write a letter and you turn that into edd to begin your claim. You are not able to tack that onto the 6 weeks you get AFTER the birth of your child (8) weeks if you have a C-section. 

 

Once your 6 weeks of short term disability runs out, if you do not qualify for FMLA (which I did not) you can then apply for PFL (Paid Family Leave) and still receive the 55% of your pay. The state will send you the paperwork to fill out for that after the STD (short term disability) runs out. The stipulation with PFL is that it is and UNPROTECTED leave. You will want to talk with your manager about the leave and make sure that you will still have a job when you come back.

 

Here is a link I found with more info on PFL...

http://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/PFL_How_to_File_a_Claim.htm

 

Another cool thing about PFL is that both the mother and father can take it. You have to use the benefit within the first year of the child's life and it is for bonding:) SO if mom has to go back to work, dad can take up to 6 weeks (55% of pay) to stay with the new baby. Also, you don't have to take all 6 weeks all at once. You can take a week here and there, however you choose.

 

FMLA as I understand it lasts for up to 6 months. I don't believe that you are paid the entire time, so I would google that for more information. 

 

Hopefully this info was helpful :)

 

M

post #6 of 6

Call the state. They can answer all of your questions and were quite helpful while HR was not helpful and wrong.

 

And no, you are cannot take leave before the birth because you feel like it. You need a documented medical reason i.e. actually disabled by the pregnancy and no one I have seen does it routinely.

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