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Sample Maternity Leave for California Small Business

Maternity Leave

We strive to provide a supportive environment for those on our team who give birth. To this end, not only do we comply with all Federal, State and Local mandates related to pregnancy and baby bonding leave, we also work closely with our staff to schedule time at and away from work during pregnancy, postpartum and return to work.

Deciding what is best for you as you consider options for maternity leave can be a complicated process, and we want to make it easier for you by providing you with information to help you make informed decisions.

State Sponsored Disability Insurance & Paid Family Leave

The State of California provides Disability Insurance payments for the birth of a child. In order to qualify for this insurance payment of 60% - 70% of your typical wages you must have worked at some point in the 5 - 18 months prior to the birth of your child.

  • Disability Insurance - 4 weeks prior to due date

  • Disability Insurance - 6 weeks after birth (vaginal) or 8 weeks after birth (cesarean)

  • Paid Family Leave - 8 weeks, may be taken anytime in the first 12 months after birth

This means that most new mothers typically qualify for around 4.5 - 5 months of insurance for the birth of a child. New fathers are eligible for Paid Family Leave, and typically qualify for 2 months of insurance for the birth of a child. For more information on eligibility, application, and payments, please visit

Deciding on When to Take Leave

The decision about when to take time away from work for birth and postpartum is an individual decision. Some considerations include:

  • State sponsored Disability Insurance payments

  • Personal financial position

  • You and your baby’s health

  • Other children in the house

  • Interest in continuing to work

  • Interest in returning to work

We encourage you to take some time to consider your personal needs before you submit your request for leave. New mothers make different decisions based on their own and their family’s situation. We want to support you in the decisions that you make to take care of yourself and your family.

Requesting Leave

In order to request time off for maternity leave, you will submit a Leave of Absence Request Form. If you have made any decisions about wanting a reduced schedule on your return to work, we would welcome that information at this time so that we may plan accordingly. If you are unsure if you want to return to your full schedule there is no need to make a decision about this now. We can talk about that at a later date if it is something that you decide that you want.

Taking Leave

Once you get closer to your due date it may be necessary for us to update your Leave of Absence Request form. We want to work with you to make sure that you are supported to care for yourself and your family as needed. If this means that you want to or need to leave work earlier than expected, just let us know and we can adjust your leave dates. Alternatively, if you have decided that you would like to work longer and it remains safe for you to do so, then we can adjust your leave request to a later date.

Return to Work

We of course would love news about your little one, but also want to respect your privacy and time away from work. We will get into touch with you two weeks before your expected return to work date to coordinate your return. Unless otherwise previously agreed, we will plan to return you to your same (or similar) position working the same number of hours as before you went on leave. If over the course of your time away from work you have decided that you would like to work less hours or if you would prefer not to return to work we can talk about those details during this call.


We are so excited for you and your growing family and look forward to the birth of your child! We are available to assist you with any questions that you have about maternity leave. Additionally, we recommend that you look into for more information on California Disability and Paid Family Leave.

If you would like to learn more about building systems that support you and your employees? Check out the free Guide to Wholistic Human Resources.

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