Employer’s Obligation to Pregnancy-Disabled Employees
On February 21, 2013, the Court of Appeal of California held in Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., 213 Cal. App.4th 1331 (2013), in a case of first impression, that an employee who was terminated after exhausting all leave available under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (“PDLL”) was still entitled to reasonable accomodation under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).
The Court in Sanchez explains the interplay between the PDLL and FEHA. The PDLL’s four months of leave are required regardless of undue hardship on the employer. After the four months are used the FEHA still requires reasonable accommodations for the disability, unless the extended leave would cause an undue hardship on the employer. Thus, an employee disabled by pregnancy may still be entitled to more than the PDLL’s four months of leave.