Your Rights to Bonding Leave As Adoptive, Foster, or Same Sex Parents - California

Updated: Sep 26




For the record, I think you are all angels. Now about the law:


If you work for an employer with 5 or more local employees, you may be entitled to

12 weeks of bonding leave to be taken within one year after birth or the placement of the child in your home. Because it is less common, a lot of employers will not be aware of this rule, so you may need to educate them on it. Don't back down. This is your right. You will not receive four months of pregnancy disability leave unless you are the birth mother. The birth mother can take disability leave followed by bonding leave. Here's some additional information on bonding leave;


Do you work for in California for a company with 5 or more employees?

Your Right to 12 Weeks of Bonding Leave

First, a math test. To be eligible for bonding leave, you need to say yes to the following three questions:

  1. Do you work for a company with 5 or more employees within 75 miles ?

  2. Have you worked for this company for at least one year as of the start date of your leave?

  3. Have you worked for more than 1250 hours (about 24 hrs/week) as of the start date of your leave?

If you answered yes to all three, you can take 12 weeks of bonding leave within one year after birth, adoption, or foster placement of your child.

Additional guidelines on bonding leave:

  • You can take the leave in two week increments/ twice in increments of less than two weeks.

  • Your employer does not need to pay you while you are on leave, but you are able to offset some of your financial loss through state benefits.

  • Your employer does need to keep you on the health plan.

  • Your employer may not deny your bonding leave because of it would be a hardship on the business. Your employer may not restructure your job or force you to take a modified schedule in lieu of your leave.

  • If your baby or baby mama has a serious health condition, you may be entitled to additional leave. This is a complicated area of law so you should consult with an attorney.

Do you work in California for a company with less than 5 employees?

If you do, I'm sorry, but you don't have any rights to bonding leave. There are a few exceptions under local ordinances. You can also use your sick days for the care of your child. You should get at least three days of paid sick leave in a year. Even if you're not entitled to bonding leave, still try to get some time off. You can explain that it will make the company attract talent because they will be known as a goodhearted employer supportive of families.

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DISCLAIMER - This blog is for educational purposes and to give general information and a general understanding of the laws relating to California employment law. It is not intended to provide specific legal advice, nor should you use it for that purpose. By using this blog you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Mamattorney or Delvaux Law and you should not use this blog as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. We don't know anything about your particular situation, and the law has many exceptions. If you have a dispute with your employer, you need to consult with an employment lawyer.