BILL NUMBER: SB 299	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Senator Evans

                        FEBRUARY 14, 2011

   An act to amend Section 12945 of the Government Code, relating to
employment.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 299, as introduced, Evans. Employment: pregnancy or childbirth
leave.
   Existing law prohibits employment discrimination based on sex or
disability.
   Existing law prohibits an employer from refusing to allow a female
employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical
condition to take a leave for a reasonable time of up to 4 months
before returning to work.
   This bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to
maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an
employee who takes that leave, as specified.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 12945 of the Government Code is amended to
read:
   12945.  In addition to the provisions that govern pregnancy,
childbirth, or  a  related medical  conditions
  condition  in Sections 12926 and 12940, it shall
be an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide
occupational qualification:
   (a)  (1)    For an employer to refuse to allow a
female employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or  a 
related medical  conditions   condition  to
take a leave for a reasonable period of time not to exceed four
months and thereafter return to work, as set forth in the commission'
s regulations. The employee shall be entitled to utilize any accrued
vacation leave during this period of time. Reasonable period of time
means that period during which the female employee is disabled on
account of pregnancy, childbirth, or  a  related medical
 conditions   condition  .
   An employer may require an employee who plans to take a leave
pursuant to this subdivision to give the employer reasonable notice
of the date the leave shall commence and the estimated duration of
the leave. 
   (2) For an employer to refuse to maintain and pay for coverage for
an eligible female employee who takes leave pursuant to paragraph
(1) under a group health plan, as defined in Section 5000(b)(1) of
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, for the duration of the leave, not
to exceed four months over the course of a 12-month period,
commencing on the date the leave taken under paragraph (1) begins, at
the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been
provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for
the duration of the leave. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude
an employer from maintaining and paying for coverage under a group
health plan beyond four months. An employer may recover from the
employee the premium that the employer paid as required under this
subdivision for maintaining coverage for the employee under the group
health plan if both of the following conditions occur:  
   (A) The employee fails to return from leave after the period of
leave to which the employee is entitled has expired.  
   (B) The employee's failure to return from leave is for a reason
other than one of the following:  
   (i) The employee taking leave under the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family
Rights Act (Sections 12945.2 and 19702.3 of the Government Code).
 
   (ii) The continuation, recurrence, or onset of a health condition
that entitles the employee to leave under paragraph (1) or other
circumstance beyond the control of the employee. 
   (b) (1) For an employer to refuse to provide reasonable
accommodation for an employee for  conditions  
a condition  related to pregnancy, childbirth, or  a 
related medical  conditions   condition  ,
if she so requests, with the advice of her health care provider.
   (2) For an employer who has a policy, practice, or collective
bargaining agreement requiring or authorizing the transfer of
temporarily disabled employees to less strenuous or hazardous
positions for the duration of the disability to refuse to transfer a
pregnant female employee who so requests.
   (3) For an employer to refuse to temporarily transfer a pregnant
female employee to a less strenuous or hazardous position for the
duration of her pregnancy if she so requests, with the advice of her
physician, where that transfer can be reasonably accommodated.
However, no employer shall be required by this section to create
additional employment that the employer would not otherwise have
created, nor shall the employer be required to discharge any
employee, transfer any employee with more seniority, or promote any
employee who is not qualified to perform the job.
   (c) This section shall not be construed to affect any other
provision of law relating to sex discrimination or pregnancy, or in
any way to diminish the coverage of pregnancy, childbirth, or  a
 medical  conditions   condition 
related to pregnancy or childbirth under any other 
provisions   provision  of this part, including
subdivision (a) of Section 12940.