Pregnancy Disability Leave - Know Your Rights

In Washington, most employees (those working for employers that employ 8 or more employees) can take an unpaid pregnancy disability leave of absence for the actual period of sickness or temporary disability related to pregnancy or childbirth.  Pregnancy disability leave must be granted in addition to the employee’s entitlement to family medical leave.

How to obtain pregnancy disability leave:

(1) Notify your employer and obtain certification from your doctor regarding the need for pregnancy disability leave and the estimation of duration of leave.

(2) If your need for pregnancy disability leave extends beyond the date originally provided for in your original certification, obtain a secondary certification from your doctor explaining the need for extended leave and the new expected duration of that leave.

(3) Upon return from pregnancy disability leave, your employer must reinstate you to your prior position or a position that is similar in scope to your prior position.

(4) Your employer cannot retaliate against you or otherwise materially change the conditions of your employment because you have taken family medical leave or pregnancy disability leave.

(5) If you fail to return to work following your pregnancy disability leave, and are not otherwise covered by another form of paid or unpaid leave, your employer can treat you as having voluntarily quit your job.

For more information about your right to pregnancy disability leave visit: