Exhaustion of PDLL Leave Does Not Necessarily Preclude Lawsuit Under FEHA

In this interesting case, the employee was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy and her employer “afforded her just over 19 weeks of leave, consisting of accrued time in addition to the time allotted by the CFRA and Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL), before abruptly terminating her employment…”

Plaintiff claimed she was fired because of her pregnancy and her pregnancy-related disability and that her employer failed to engage in the interactive process to determine whether reasonable accommodations were available.

The employer filed a demurrer arguing that it complied with FEHA by providing the employee with all of the leave mandated by the FDLL and CFRA.

WRONG!

The court noted that the PDLL remedies augment rather than supplant other remedies available in FEHA.

The court also noted that in some circumstances, additional leave can be a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

This isn’t really news to attorneys who practice in this area and I am surprised the trial court granted defendant’s demurrer. But that’s why we are blessed with appellate courts. Most of the time.

Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., ___Cal.App.4th_____ (2013).

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