Significant Changes to California Pregnancy Leave Will Take Effect on December 30, 2012

by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

The Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) recently issued revised regulations that govern pregnancy disability leave (PDL) in California.1 The new regulations take effect December 30, 2012, and include changes that will affect employers' pregnancy leave of absence policies.2 California employers with five or more employees are covered by PDL. As such, nearly all employers in California will want to take note of the new regulations. There are many revisions to the regulations, but here are the five most significant changes:

1. Health Benefits Continuation During PDL Is Separate and Distinct from Coverage During CFRA/FMLA.

The regulations clarify that employers must continue an employee's health care benefits during leave taken under PDL, as well as during family medical leaves taken under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Now, employers with 50 or more employees must provide health care continuation for the duration of PDL (up to 4 months) and during a CFRA/FMLA leave (up to 12 weeks), for a potential maximum of 29 1/3 weeks.3 Employers should review their handbooks to ensure the accuracy of their policies regarding health benefits continuation during PDL and family/medical leaves.

Since January 1, 2012, California employers with five or more employees have been required to provide continued health benefits to employees on PDL for the duration of the leave.4 Employers with 50 or more employees already had a similar obligation to provide up to 12 weeks of health benefits continuation under CFRA and/or FMLA.5 When the 2012 requirement for benefits continuation during PDL took effect, there was a lack of clarity as to whether employees who already were guaranteed benefits during a CFRA/FMLA leave were entitled to additional benefits during PDL.6 The new regulations clarify that benefits continuation during PDL is separate and distinct from benefits continuation during a CFRA leave, and therefore coverage must be continued during both leave periods. Employers with between 5 and 49 employees are not covered by CFRA or FMLA, and are thus only required to continue health benefits during PDL.

2. An Employer That Fails to Reinstate an Employee to a Comparable Position Must Now Notify the Employee of Available Positions for 60 Days Following the Scheduled Date of Reinstatement under One of the Employer's Permissible Defenses.

The new regulations significantly increase employers' obligations regarding reinstatement of an employee who has been on PDL—in particular, the requirements that an employer must meet in order to justify the failure to reinstate an employee to a comparable position. Now, non-reinstatement of an employee to a comparable position requires the employer to prove either:

  1. that the employer would not have offered a comparable position to the employee if she would have been continuously at work during the pregnancy disability leave or transfer period, OR
  2. that there is no comparable position available.7

Subsection (A) is a new addition to the regulations. Subsection (B) is not entirely new, but the FEHC has significantly changed the definition of an "available" comparable position. Now, "available" means that there is a position open on the employee's scheduled date of reinstatement or within 60 calendar days for which she is qualified or to which she is entitled by company policy, contract, or collective bargaining agreement.8 Moreover, employers have an "affirmative duty" to provide notice of "available" positions to the employee, which can include notice by letter, phone, or email (for example, emailing links to job postings on the company's website).9 These requirements mean that an employer must notify a terminated employee of available comparable positions for 60 days following her scheduled date of reinstatement in order to justify a decision not to reinstate her to a comparable position.

Generally, an employee on PDL has a right to reinstatement to the same position, or a comparable position, subject to employer defenses. Reinstatement to the same position is not required if the employer can show that the employee would not otherwise have been employed in the same position at the time of reinstatement, due to legitimate business reasons that are unrelated to PDL (such as a layoff pursuant to a plant closure).10

Even if the employer is excused from reinstating the employee to her same position, the employer must make an additional showing in order to refuse to reinstate the employee to a comparable position—a standard that has been significantly changed in the new regulations. Now, an employer can justify non-reinstatement to a comparable position by showing that it would not have offered a comparable position to the employee had she been continuously at work. Alternatively, the employer can show that there is no comparable position "available," in which case it must notify the employee of open positions for 60 days following the scheduled date of reinstatement. This type of an ongoing obligation is unprecedented in California employment law, and it remains to be seen how it will be administered and enforced.11 Employers should familiarize themselves with the changes in this area, and consult with counsel when making reinstatement or termination decisions that may be impacted by these rules.

3. Revised Definition of "Four Months" of Leave.

The new regulations clarify how to calculate the duration of PDL and an employee's specific PDL entitlement, and make it clear that an employee's entitlement to PDL varies based on the number of hours typically worked in a week. This may change PDL calculations for intermittent and/or continuous leave for some employees.

"Four-month leave" now is defined as time off "for the number of days or hours the employee would normally work within four calendar months (1/3 of a year or 17 1/3 weeks)."12 Under this definition, an employee who works 40 hours per week is entitled to 693 hours of leave (based on 17 1/3 weeks).13 Employees who work more or less than 40 hours a week (including employees with variable work schedules) are entitled to "four months" of leave on a proportional basis.14 For example, an employee who works 20 hours per week would be entitled to 346.5 hours of leave, and an employee who works 48 hours per week would be entitled to 832 hours of leave.15 PDL calculations are especially important when determining leave entitlement, as it is allocated between intermittent leave (which employees may use in small increments) and continuous leave. The revised regulations provide formulas and examples for intermittent and continuous leave calculations, and employers are advised to refer to the regulations and consult with employment counsel when administering pregnancy disability leaves under the new rules.16

4. Broader Definition of "Health Care Provider."

The regulations expand the definition of "health care provider" to include a broader list of professionals who are authorized to provide medical certifications and advice related to PDL. For purposes of PDL, the definition of "health care provider" has been expanded to include marriage and family therapists, licensed acupuncturists, licensed midwives, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, chiropractors, and physical assistants.17

5. "Perceived Pregnancy" Is Protected.

The regulations clarify that "perceived pregnancy," in addition to actual pregnancy, is protected under California law. Employers may not discriminate, harass, or take other adverse actions on the basis of "perceived pregnancy."18 "Perceived pregnancy" is defined as "being regarded or treated by an employer or other covered entity as being pregnant or having a related medical condition."19

In addition to the above, the FEHC has implemented other changes throughout the new regulations, including revisions to the required employee notices.20 Employers should review the changes to the regulations, available here, and update their policies, notices, and forms as necessary.

For more information on California employment laws and regulations relating to leaves of absence or other employee matters, please contact Fred Alvarez, Rico Rosales, Marina Tsatalis, Laura Merritt, Alicia Farquhar, or another member of the firm's employment and trade secrets litigation practice.

1 Effective January 1, 2013, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission will be replaced by the Fair Employment and Housing Council. The change follows the passage of SB 1038, which eliminates the commission, ends administrative adjudication, creates the council, and authorizes the new FEHC to bring civil actions directly in court. See SB 1038, available at

2 The full text of the regulations and a redline showing the changes are available at

3 The actual duration of a PDL or CFRA leave may vary depending on how the leave is calculated and administered, because an employee's use of intermittent leave may change the total number of weeks of continuous leave to which she is entitled. The 29 1/3-week maximum assumes that both the PDL (17 1/3 weeks) and CFRA baby-bonding leave (12 weeks) are taken continuously.

4 Cal. Gov't Code § 12945(a)(2).

5 Cal. Gov't Code § 12945.2(f); Cal. Code of Regs. (C.C.R.) tit. 2 � 7297.5(c).

6 Employees who are eligible for PDL and CFRA/FMLA may take a leave of absence for up to 4 months under PDL plus 12 weeks of baby-bonding leave under CFRA.

7 § 7291.10(c)(2).

8 § 7291.10(c)(2)(B)(1) (emphasis added).

9 § 7291.10(c)(2)(B)(2).

10 § 7291.10(c)(1).

11 Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati submitted public comments to the FEHC and attended the public hearing on these regulations during the public comment period. We addressed the 60-day notification requirement as well as other issues in this alert.

12 § 7291.9(a)(1).

13 See § 7291.9.

14 § 7291.9(a)(2).

15 § 7291.9(a)(2)(A).

16 See § 7291.9(a).

17 § 7191.2(n).

18 See §§ 7291.3, 7291.5, 7291.6(a).

19 § 7291.2(q).

20 See §§ 7291.17, 7291.18. The final text of the regulations, which includes the notices and form, is available at

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.