Pregnancy Disability Leave Fact Sheet


Learn about job-protected leave under state Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).

Pregnancy disability

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) is a California state law that provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave in the event of a pregnancy, childbirth, loss of pregnancy, and/or pregnancy-related physical and mental conditions.  Eligible employees may take up four months of leave per pregnancy. 

Employees may be eligible and/or qualify for leave protections under FMLA and/or CFRA (used for parental bonding time). 


  • If an employee is on an approved PDL and is eligible for FMLA/CFRA, up to 12 workweeks of PDL will run concurrently with the employee’s FMLA entitlement at the start of the leave.
  • Upon concluding a PDL, an employee's leave may transition to a CFRA bonding leave, for up to 12 workweeks.
  • A “rolling 12-month period” is used for calculating hours worked for determining if an employee is eligible to take a FMLA/CFRA leave.

Eligibility and pay

To be eligible for PDL the individual must be employed.

Eligible employees may take up four months of leave per pregnancy for one or more of the following qualifying reasons:

  • A period of incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth, loss of a pregnancy, and/or pregnancy-related physical and mental conditions 
  • PDL is available when an employee is actually disabled. This includes time off needed for prenatal or postnatal care, severe morning sickness, doctor-ordered bed rest, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, loss or end of pregnancy, or any other related medical condition 

PDL qualifying leaves may be paid and/or unpaid or a combination of both, depending on your leave situation and needs.

The types of covered pay options (sick, vacation, paid time off, extended sick time) which may be applied to an otherwise unpaid PDL qualifying leave are outlined in the applicable union collective bargaining agreements or Personnel Policy for Staff Members (PPSM).


Disability pay (basic disability and/or voluntary short-term disability)

Your disability pay generally begins after you have met the disability waiting period and continues for up to six weeks or eight weeks after the birth of your child.  The duration of your disability is determined by your medical provider.

  • You must meet the minimum 14-calendar-day waiting period up to a maximum of 30 calendar days 
  • During the waiting period, employees may use sick/extended sick time according to policy and/or union collective bargaining agreements

You may file a disability claim with Lincoln Financial Group.  View Your Guide to Filing for Disability Benefits.