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Pregnancy Leave Requirements

Hi! I am a new grad RDH and have been working part time (2 days per week) in my current office in California since October 2016. I notified the dentist before he hired me that I was pregnant, and it has never been an issue. My due date is June 9, 2017, and I am currently planning out my maternity leave. I understand that I will be able to apply for Disability Insurance (up to 4 weeks before delivery) as well as Paid Family Leave (up to 6 weeks after delivery), which will provide me with a small amount of compensation (not really through the employer though). I am not worried about the amount of money I will receive, and I obviously do not expect any payment from my employer during my leave. However, my real question is, what is the MAXIMUM number of weeks I can take off from work (unpaid) while still guaranteeing that my position will be available to me when I return? The office consists of the dentist plus 4 employees. To me, this would sound like a practice with fewer than 5 employees, however, I was listening to a webinar put on by the CDA and they explained that the dentist himself actually counts as an employee, which would make it 5. This confuses me since all of the regulations I read about are for practices with 5 or more employees. Thank you in advance for your help!

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1 Answer

This is a tough one to answer because of the small number of employees in a dental office. For a definitive answer it might be best to contact California’s Employment Development Department directly: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/Contact_DI.htm
From contacting employment agencies in the past, I’ve found that depending on who you talk to you can get different answers so it may also be a good idea to contact an employment/labor attorney to confirm the info you are given. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, I just don’t want to give you an incorrect answer because I don’t know California employment laws.
Congrats on expecting a little one! How exciting!

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