HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 36 ORGAN AND BONE MARROW DONOR PAID LEAVE POLICY « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Giving Life by Knife

California employers with 15 or more on payroll must provide eligible employees with up to 30 business days of paid leave — and an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave — for organ donation and up to five business days of paid leave for bone marrow donation.  The law permits employers to require organ donors to take up to two weeks of accrued paid sick, vacation or PTO time and bone marrow donors to take up to five days of accrued paid sick, vacation or PTO time.

Covered employers should include this policy in their employee handbook.

Policy Drafting Tips:

  • Specify the extent of permissible paid and unpaid donation leave;
  • State the one-year period is 12 consecutive months from the date the leave begins, not per calendar year;
  • Determine whether to require written medical documentation of the need for donation leave;
  • Require the use of accrued vacation or sick benefits to the extent permissible under appliable law;
  • State the leave is not a break in service and such employees will be treated as though they had remained at work;
  • Confirm group health plan coverage will continue for the duration of the leave;
  • Specify such leave is not counted as CFRA or FMLA leave; and
  • Reassure employees they will not be retaliated or otherwise discriminated against for taking donor leave.


Implement and regularly review your handbook to include an organ and bone marrow donor policy, and educate and train your supervisors on these laws.

We publish this series to educate employers on best practices for a well-written handbook that assists applicants, employees, and management alike. To purchase our 2023 template handbook – which contains the above policy and much more – and accompanying forms or for more information, please contact Office Manager Aimee Rosales at 626.583.6600 or officemgr@tbowleslaw.com.

See also:

Cindy Bamforth
August 31, 2023

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