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CA Maternity leave coming to an end. Job hours and schedule are changing. Can I get EDD?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am supposed to go back to work but I was told that my hours and schedule have changed and it is non-negotiable. If I choose not to return to work, am I entitled to CA EDD? Are they legally allowed to change the terms of my job while I am on Disability?

Attorney Answers 3


Generally speaking, an employee is entitled to return to the same position following maternity leave (CPDLL/FEHA), unless their position is no longer available for a reason unrelated to the leave. However, many extend their CPDLL leave with CFRA leave, which is slightly less protective than CPDLL provisions.

Regardless, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for engaging in a protected activity such a requesting/taking a protected leave of absence. Retaliation can include termination, but could be less drastic. Reduction in scheduled hours could also be considered retaliation, if it leads to lower income and/or less desirable working conditions.

In terms of the EDD issue, more facts are necessary. If the hours for the position have been reduced, but you are still doing the same job than it may be possible to secure partial payment. However, if this is a change in assignment, than no EDD.

Many more facts are necessary to determine an action plan for you. I recommend you contact a local employment attorney to discuss this in further detail. You can find many listed on

Best of luck,

Oleg Albert, Esq.

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Your question raises many questions. What is your job? How many more/less hours are you getting? How will that impact your wages? How many other people's hours and schedules were changed?

My colleague is correct. With few exceptions, you generally have the right to return to the "same or similar" position as when you went out on maternity leave.

The EDD will ask many of these same questions in considering whether to honor a claim for unemployment benefits.

Best regards,

David A. Mallen

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo as a public service, for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding the facts of your legal claim or the time limits for filing your claim, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen, offer confidential, no-risk legal consultations at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.

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My colleagues are correct. I just want to add that "job elimination" is often used as a pretext to cover up unlawful discrimination or retaliation. Therefore, whenever anyone returns from a protected leave and is met with that reason for a significant change, I see it as a red flag to do further investigation. Many questions need to be answered. For instance, did the company go through a reorganization while you were gone? Has someone else taken over your old job responsibilities? Have other women who have gone out on pregnancy leave faced similar job changes on their return? Was there any indication before you went on leave that they might want to change your working hours after you returned to care for your newborn?

Unfortunately pregnancy and "new mommy" discrimination is quite prevalent in our society. The question with your situation is whether your job would have changed had you not been on pregnancy leave, or did your having a baby cause the change.

Good luck to you.

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