A. Maternity leave of up to four months without pay shall be granted to any employee consistent with federal law and California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act.
B. During any period of approved leave under this policy, an employee’s group health insurance coverage will be maintained at the same level and under the same conditions as before the leave began. For part-time employees, the coverage will be computed on an average of the previous 12-month period.
1. Employees who normally make a contribution toward their health insurance coverage must continue to do so. If on paid leave, the employee’s contribution will be collected in the same manner as if the employee were reporting to work. During periods of unpaid leave, the employee must make payment arrangements with the Auditor’s Office, prior to commencement of the leave, for the payment of the employee’s share of the insurance premium.
2. An employee who does not return to duty from an unpaid leave under this policy will be liable for the county’s group health insurance premium contribution and any part of the employee’s share paid by the county during the unpaid leave, unless the failure to return to duty is caused by continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition that would entitle the employee to leave under this policy, or for circumstances beyond the employee’s control. Where recovery of premiums is permitted, the county shall be entitled to offset the amount against any final pay or monetary benefit to which the employee would otherwise be entitled.
3. Employees will not accrue other benefits (i.e., sick leave, vacation, holidays, seniority for the purposes of grade or longevity steps) while in an unpaid leave status, including seniority rights, unless these benefits are authorized by an applicable employee bargaining agreement, County Code provision, or any other applicable ordinance or statute.
C. Employees taking leave under this section may take leave intermittently upon production of a health care provider’s certification. To the extent possible, such certification should provide the dates and duration any treatment and leave is expected. Employees using leave on an intermittent basis must try to schedule the leave to minimize disruption to normal operations. An employee may be reassigned to an alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates the recurring periods of leave.
D. Employees who anticipate taking California Pregnancy Disability Leave must provide as much advance notice to the department as may be practicable under the circumstances surrounding the health condition.
E. Required Certifications. Failure to provide the required health care medical certifications may result in denial or postponement of the leave or request for leave. The county may request, at the county’s expense, that an employee submit a second opinion from a health care provider designated and approved by the county. The county may require an employee to obtain subsequent medical re-certification, on a reasonable basis, as a requirement for continued leave approval. An employee who has been on leave for California Pregnancy Disability will be required to present a certification of fitness for duty from a health care provider prior to commencement of work.