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- California workers can take five days off for maternity leave under a new law. SB 848, signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, starts January 1.
- The law expands the state’s protected leave and defines “reproductive loss” as a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction experienced by the employee, their spouse, or domestic partner.
- SB 848 covers all public and private employers with at least five workers and any employee of those companies who works there for 30 days.
Reproductive loss leave is similar to California’s bereavement leave, attorneys from Fisher Phillips said in a blog post for the firm. Like bereavement leave, workers do not have to take five consecutive days but must use it within three months.
If an eligible worker experiences more than one reproductive loss in a year, they are entitled to 20 days of total leave, compared to 15 days of vacation, according to an FAQ published by the California Civil Rights Department. And workers are not required to provide documentation to their employers for reproductive loss leave.
To prepare for compliance with the new law, Fisher Phillips recommends employers review their policies and procedures. If those policies don’t already include leave for reproductive loss, lawyers recommend companies update them, as well as their employee handbooks, and teach workers how to handle these requests. leave of absence