Employment Law Bulletin | November 3, 2023

New California Law Requires Employers of Five or More Employees To Provide Reproductive Loss Leave

Effective January 1, 2024, employers of five or more employees must grant eligible California employees up to five days of leave following a “reproductive loss event.”  Eligible employees include employees who have:

  • worked for the employer for 30 or more days before the leave begins; and
  • suffered a:
    • failed adoption;
    • failed surrogacy;
    • miscarriage;
    • stillbirth;
    • unsuccessful round of intrauterine insemination; or
    • unsuccessful round of artificial insemination or embryo transfer procedure.

The leave is available to either parent and must be completed within three months of the “reproductive loss event,” but need not be taken on consecutive days.  If the employee takes pregnancy disability leave or family medical leave prior to or immediately following the reproductive loss event, the leave must be completed within three months of the end of that other leave.  If the employee suffers more than one reproductive loss event within a 12-month period, the employer may limit the total amount of reproductive loss leave time to 20 days within a 12-month period.

While the leave is not paid by the employer, the employee must be permitted to use any accrued vacation, personal leave, sick leave, or compensatory time off that is otherwise available to the employee.

The law prohibits employers from interfering with or denying leave, and retaliating against employees who take reproductive loss leave.

Finally, the law requires employers to maintain the confidentiality of the employee requesting reproductive loss leave.  Information provided to the employer must be kept confidential except from internal personnel or counsel, as necessary, or as required by law.

Contact an SMT employment attorney about adding this new leave of absence to your Employee Handbook or leave of absence policy.

Lisa Ann Hilario

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SMT employment attorneys can provide your company with employment policies, forms and employee disciplinary documentation in Spanish. Providing such important information to employees in the language they understand is critical to employee performance, providing a welcoming diverse work environment, and protecting your company against employment claims. Contact an SMT attorney today to get started.

Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP
Employment Law Group

Lisa Ann Hilario | Kari Brown

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