Pregnancy Disability Leave

Overview

If you are considering taking time off due to pregnancy, you may be eligible for job-protected leave under Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL).  At UCSF, some or all of your job-protected leave may be paid and/or unpaid.      

Family leave

Pregnancy leave encompasses a wide range of pregnancy disability-related leave needs and parental bonding time for expectant mothers. Length of time away, pay options, and benefits vary depending your leave situation and needs.

Family Care and Parental Bonding leave is also available for fathers, same-sex spouses, and registered domestic partners who are bonding with their newborn, recently placed adopted child, or foster child during their first year of birth or placement.

Criteria for pregnancy disability leave

  • You need time off for a period of incapacity due to pregnancy, childbirth, loss of a pregnancy, and/or pregnancy-related physical and mental conditions. 
  • Pregnancy disability leave 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.

Job protections

  • California law (PDL) allows you take up to four months of job protected disability leave per pregnancy.
  • Federal law (Family and Medical Leave Act) allows you to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for your own serious health condition (includes pregnancy).
  • If eligible, PDL and FMLA will run concurrently at the start of your pregnancy leave.
  • California law (California Family Rights Act) allows you to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected parental bonding leave.
  • Upon concluding a PDL, an employee's leave may transition to a CFRA bonding leave, for up to 12 workweeks.

Pay options

Pregnancy disability leave and/or FMLA are not paid; however, your disability pay (basic and/or voluntary short-term) may provide income replacement.

  • 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.

CFRA also is not paid; however, the Pay for Family Care and Bonding (PFCB) may provide a pay option allowing eligible UC employees to elect to use income replacement, calculated at 70% of eligible earnings, for up to eight workweeks while unable to work during an FMLA- and/or CFRA-qualifying leave.

  • Your balance of job-protected leave, up to an additional four weeks, can be taken using a combination of vacation and paid time off accruals as income replacement
  • FMLA, CFRA, and/or PFCB may be taken intermittently, and are most often taken in increments of at least two weeks each when used for bonding time.

Fact sheets

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).

View fact sheet

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specific qualifying family and medical leave reasons. Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of FMLA per calendar year.

In general, to be eligible for FMLA, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must have 12 cumulative months of UC employment and
  • Must have worked at least 1,250 productive hours immediately preceding the 12 months before your FMLA leave starts. Productive hours do not include time away used for vacation/paid time off, sick/extended sick time, and compensatory time off (CTO).

View fact sheet

California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is a state law that provides eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for specific qualifying family and medical reasons. Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave per calendar year. Please note, depending on the type of leave, CFRA may run concurrently with FMLA.

In general, to be eligible for CFRA, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must have 12 cumulative months of UC employment and
  • Must have worked at least 1,250 productive hours immediately preceding the 12 months before your CFRA leave starts. Productive hours do not include time away used for vacation/paid time off, sick/extended sick time, and compensatory time off (CTO).

The eligibility criteria for CFRA are the same as for FMLA.

View fact sheet

Steps for taking a pregnancy leave

Step1

Read details about taking a leave

Review Taking a Leave of Absence on UCnet to review your rights and available options.

Step2

Attend a workshop on pregnancy disability leave

You should attend when you are between six to eight weeks of your expected delivery date, although you are welcome to attend at any time during your planning process. Read about the workshop and how to register

Step3

Inform your manager

Inform your manager of your need to take leave, including anticipated dates out of the office, as far in advance as possible. Details related to your medical condition do not need to be shared with your manager.

Step4

Submit request for leave

Submit your leave of absence request via HR Umbrella, using your personal email address. Once submitted, your leave specialist will partner with you to:
  • Confirm your eligibility under the Pregnancy Disability Leave (PFL), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) laws, if applicable.
  • Complete necessary documentation which will guide you through the process and is required in order to certify your leave. This may include Health Care Provider Certification.
  • Determine the dates you will be on paid and unpaid status, along with options and your obligations while on unpaid status.
    • Review your options for covered pay with your leave specialist.
      • Use of accrued leave is guided by your policy or collective bargaining agreement, related to the type of leave you are taking.
      • In the HR Umbrella leave request, indicate whether you:
        • intend to file a disability claim with Lincoln Financial
        • elect to use Pay for Family Care and Bonding (PFCB) 
    • If you are on unpaid status, personal payments will need to be submitted to continue your benefits coverage. You will receive a Benefits Billing Election Form.

Step5

Confirm your return-to-work date

As early as possible, contact your supervisor and the appropriate leaves contact to confirm your return-to-work date: It's important to ensure all your mandatory department compliance is completed prior to or upon your return to work. Talk with your immediate supervisor or manager regarding any compliance actions you may need to complete. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are compliant with UC COVID-19 policy as well as any other required immunization and health screenings before returning to work. All relevant UC COVID-19 policy information, FAQs, and forms are included in UC's COVID-19 vaccination policy.  If you will return to work as expected, you must submit timely documentation to us outlining the additional leave period requested. Please provide the documentation before your expected return-to-work date. 

Step6

Return to work

Upon your return to work, you should:
  • Submit your benefit enrollment forms or enroll via UCPath online to reinstate benefit coverage.
  • Review your benefit enrollments and benefits summary within 31 days after your return.
  • Review your first several earnings statements on UCPath.
  • Contact Campus Life Services to reinstate any voluntary deductions, such as parking, pre-tax transit, gym, vanpool, etc.