Employee Benefits Compliance

California Enacts Employee Leave for Reproductive Loss

doctor comforting a young woman

Effective January 1, 2024, California employers will be required to allow employees to take up to five days of unpaid leave following a reproductive loss. The mandate was contained in Senate Bill 848, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 10, 2023.

Covered Employers and Employees

Employers with at least five employees—including the state and its political subdivisions, such as cities and counties—are covered by the new requirement.

Employees are eligible for the leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 30 days.

Leave Requirement

Under the new law, employers must provide employees with up to five days of leave following a reproductive loss event, defined as a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.

Reproductive loss leave must be taken within three months of the reproductive loss event and pursuant to any applicable leave policy of the employer. Total leave for an employee’s multiple reproductive loss events is limited to 20 days per 12-month period.

Employees may take the leave on nonconsecutive days.

Compensation During Leave

In the absence of an existing applicable employer policy, reproductive loss leave may be unpaid. However, employees may use any available vacation, personal leave, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off.

The law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who take the leave. Confidentiality provisions also apply.

Source: Fisher Phillips, the Leavitt Group preferred partner for our clients' employment law needs. Need access to an employment lawyer? Contact your Leavitt Group representative who can help connect you.