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Consider your leave options during baby-bonding

Every parent looks forward with equal parts excitement and concern to the birth of a new baby. You might find yourself with similar feelings towards new birth, adopting a child or assuming guardianship of a foster care child. It is a big change that affects everyone involved and the transition takes time.

That is why California law has protections in place for taking that time, depending on your situation.


According to the Society for Human Resource Management, both the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act provide for the baby-bonding leave. FMLA helps cover pregnancy disability leave, which amounts to up to four months of leave for mothers. But the CFRA also provides up to 12 weeks of baby-bonding leave for mothers and fathers if you qualify.

Qualifications include having worked with your employer for 12 months prior to taking the leave and working over 1,250 hours

Additional leave

Your employer may have structures in place to work with you and your family situation. While the FMLA and CFRA have limits on their leave protections, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act may impact your working circumstances.

State disability insurance

Workers in California may have access to up to six weeks of partial wage replacement as well. While this program lacks job protections, it might assist in recovering wages from the state while taking leave.

Utilizing this leave is your right if you qualify. But As described above, there are a lot of legal structures to navigate. In the worst-case situation, you might have a discrimination case on your hands if your employer cuts your pay or demotes you as a result of this baby-bonding leave. Researching the answers to your leave questions may help clear up any confusion.

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