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Pregnancy, Unemployment, State Disability

Burbank, CA |

I just got a notice from my employer that on 2/28/13 i will be laid off. I am pregnant and i should get state disability from March 8 ,2013. will i be still eligible for state disability if i am unemployed?

Also, by 2/28/13 my health insurance expires ( i will be 34 of 40 week pregnant by then). My company offers COBRA but my husband also is employed and has united healthcare. Can i join his insurance without being discriminated for my pregnancy without any gap in between? Can COBRA denies me or increase its monthly premium because of my pregnancy?

Attorney Answers 3


If your employer contributes to the state disability fund (which you would know by deductions from your paycheck), and you are unable to work due to pregnancy related reasons, you should be eligible for SDI, from the time you are unable to work. If there is a gap between the layoff and your disability, you should be eligible for unemployment benefits for that brief period of time.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

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Mr. Kirschbaum is correct. Unemployment benefits are for those able to work and looking for a job. State disability benefits are for those who cannot work because of a defined disability. Between the two, you should be covered.

It always concerns me to hear that someone is laid off after the employer hears that the employee is pregnant and will be taking leave. If you are sure that your termination is part of an overall layoff and your inclusion in that layoff seems reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances, then there is probably no reason for concern. However, if you are curiously the only one being laid off, or it seems you have been chosen for layoff instead of others with less seniority or work performance quality, then you might be the victim of pregnancy discrimination.

If you believe that your situation might be unlawful pregnancy discrimination, you should consult with an employment lawyer right away.

Good luck to you with your new baby!

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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Were you the only employee laid off? If so, this is a bright red flag for possible pregnancy discrimination. Generally, you have the right to return to your previous job. New pregnancy regulations strengthen your rights.

Having a baby should be a joyful experience that should not cost you a job.


David Mallen

David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo 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 your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees 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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