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California Establishes New Leave for Reproductive Loss 

08 Nov


Update Applicable to:

All California employers and multi-state employers with at least 1 worker in California.

What happened?

On October 11, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law allowing for leaves of absence for reproductive-related losses. Senate Bill 848 makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to grant an eligible employee’s request to take up to five days of leave following a reproductive loss event.

The effective date is January 1, 2024.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the resources provided and may wish to update their employee handbooks and/or leave policy(ies) to incorporate this new leave and determine whether reproductive loss leave will be paid. It is recommended for employers to consult their trusted employment attorney to review and update the handbook/policy(ies).

What are the details?

Under existing law (the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”)), employers must grant a request by any employee to take up to five (5) days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member.

SB 848 is a type of Bereavement Leave that can be taken by an employee who has suffered a reproductive loss, defined as “the day or, for a multiple-day event, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction.” This adds Section 12945.6 to the FEHA.

According to the law, an employee can take a maximum of 20 days of reproductive loss leave in a 12-month period. This means that even if an employee experiences multiple reproductive loss events within a year, the employer is not required to provide more than 20 days of leave. If the employer does not have a policy covering this issue, the employee can use their vacation, personal leave, and sick leave.

Additionally, it prohibits retaliation based on the individual’s exercise of the right to the leave or the individual’s testimony as to reproductive loss leave.

Any information provided to the employer relating to the need for reproductive loss leave shall be maintained as confidential and shall not be disclosed except to internal personnel or counsel, as necessary or as required by law.

For more information, please see the links below:

SB 848

Law Firm Articles: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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