California’s Employees Entitled to Reproductive Loss Leave in 2024
On January 1, 2024, most California employers are required to provide up to five days of unpaid leave to an employee who experiences a reproductive loss event. Senate Bill 848 defines a reproductive loss as a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.
This new law applies to all employers with five or more employees. An eligible employee, someone employed with the company for at least 30 days, must take the leave within three months after the reproductive loss. However, the employee may take this leave intermittently. Further, a single employee is entitled to take more than one reproductive loss leave each year, but is limited to 20 days of reproductive loss leave within a 12-month period.
Unlike California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave, men are clearly eligible for reproductive loss leave, if the employee would have become a parent absent the unfortunate event.
Employees may choose to use any accrued and available sick leave, or other paid time off that is otherwise available to the employee, otherwise this is an unpaid leave. Employers should ensure that any handbooks and leave policies are promptly updated, as well as training management and human resources professionals on recognizing this new leave and ensuring that persons seeking and taking it are not discriminated against or retaliated against for seeking out or using such leave.
Employers who need further guidance on this or any of California’s new employment laws should contact the authors or their favorite CDF attorney.