Under recently signed legislation, employees will be eligible for California reproductive loss leave, effective Jan. 1, 2024.
The law bars employers from refusing to grant an employee request to take up to five days of reproductive loss leave following a qualifying event.
It is similar to California’s bereavement leave, which has the same stipulation regarding the death of a family member, and the leave also may be unpaid. The governor signed the bill Oct. 10, 2023.
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California Reproductive Loss Leave
The California reproductive loss leave law applies to employers with five or more workers and also includes local government.
Eligible employees must have worked for the employer for at least 30 days prior to taking the leave.
Also, the law broadly defines the reasons under which an employee may take leave, including:
- Failed adoption
- Failed surrogacy
- Unsuccessful assisted reproduction
Meanwhile, if an employee has more than one reproductive loss event within a 12-month period, the employer is not obligated to grant more than 20 days within a 12-month period. Employees don’t need to take the five days consecutively, though they must use them within three months of the event.
Lastly, while it is unpaid, employees could use vacation, personal leave, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available. And employees are not required to provide documentation for reproductive loss leave.
Paid Leave Compliance Resources
California Paid Leave
While the new reproductive loss leave in California is unpaid, employers should also note the paid leave laws in the state.
There are state-level paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave laws on the books. And there will be a California paid sick leave update that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Plus, several cities have their own paid sick leave laws, including:
- Los Angeles
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Santa Monica
- West Hollywood
Lastly, there are other leave types in San Francisco — paid parental leave, paid military Leave and public health emergency leave — as well as paid leave for hotel workers in Long Beach and Los Angeles.
West Coast Compliance Guide
Employment Law Compliance Management
The days of a handful of federal employment laws for organizations to track are long gone.
And legislation continues to grow and evolve. It’s not simply labor law posters, minimum wage rates and paid leave laws.
From hair discrimination laws to protections for recreational marijuana use, large employers have plenty to consider. That spans hiring laws such as ban the box to payout of unused vacation time upon separation.
Meanwhile, existing laws continue to be updated, whether through tweaks to language of statutes or government officials handing down additional guidance.
The new California reproductive loss leave law highlights the continued compliance challenges for employers.
In light of the new reproductive loss law, employers with locations in California should review their internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance.
As a reminder, eligible employees will be able to take five days of unpaid leave for a qualifying event, up to 20 days in a 12-month period.