Ask Annie: Paid Family Leave and Part-Time Workers

by Annie on March 29, 2012 · 1 comment

in Ask Annie, Maternity Leave

I’ve only been working part time for this company for about 8 months but I worked for another company part time before that for 9 months or so, does that count as 12 months plus or does it have to be at the same company to qualify for 55% of my pay.

Paid Family Leave requirements for part time workers

If you make at least $300, paid into SDI for 12 months, and met the qualifications for Paid Family Leave, then you can take PFL as a part-time worker.

My feeling is that you might not qualify for Paid Family Leave immediately after your SDI ends. The eligibility requirements are that you work for an employer for at least 12 months AND worked a minimum of 1250 hours excluding holidays, vacation, and sick time off (this average to 25 hours a week).

But this does not mean you do not get Paid Family Leave. Paid Family Leave is available ANY TIME within the first year after the birth of your child.

Return to work, take Paid Family Leave later

I am assuming you will reach 8 months with your current company by the time you give birth. My advice is to take whatever time you have for maternity leave (SDI, sick leave, and vacation), return to work for about 4 to 5 months (basically you would work until you hit the 12 month mark and 1250 hours), then turn in your paperwork for Paid Family Leave. Don’t forget to notify your employer 30 days prior to when you plan to use PFL.

3-4 weeks after the birth of your baby, you will get a form from EDD for Paid Family Leave. Keep the form to use after you hit the 12 month mark. You don’t want to pre-fill in the start date for PFL and mail it back immediately in case your job situation change and you do hit the hours requirement until later (ie. your employer might reduce your hours).

With this form, you can streamline the application process for PFL. I think I only had to fill out my start date, check a box that I want to use PFL continuously until it runs out, and sign it.

Don’t forget the 7 day waiting period for PFL

You will have another 7 day waiting period for using PFL in after returning to work (it could be 7 partial day or 7 full days that you normally would have worked). You can only use vacation or take a leave of absence during the waiting period. So in reality, Paid Family Leave will only pay you 55% for 5 weeks even though you are away from work for 6 weeks.

When you take PFL immediately after SDI, you get 55% for 6 weeks because you already have a 7 day waiting period at the start of SDI. In some ways, it seems like you are getting punish for waiting to take PFL after returning to work from maternity leave, but it is better than getting nothing.

To find out about how to make the most of your maternity leave and enjoy the time with your baby, you need to watch this. I watched this video in my birthing class and it made a huge difference on how to get our baby adjusted to being outside the womb and to stop crying. His method really works!

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