TIME OFF MOURNINGCalifornia Requires Bereavement Leave « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

California Requires Bereavement Leave

Assembly Bill (AB) 1949, effective January 1, 2023, requires private employers of five or more people and all public employers to provide five days of bereavement leave to employees upon the death of a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law.

The leave days must be taken within three months of the death but need not be consecutive. Unless the employer has a policy to the contrary, the leave may be unpaid, but employees may use any paid sick leave, vacation, compensatory time off, or personal leave to which they are entitled.

An employer may request documentation of the death within 30 days of the first day of leave, but may not discriminate against the employee or take adverse employment actions either because the employee takes such leave or provides information or testimony about their own bereavement leave or that of another.

Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements (CBA) that provide equivalent bereavement leave are not covered by this law, so long as the CBA provides for overtime wages, a regular hourly rate of at least 130% of minimum wage and meets other standards for wages, hours of work, and working conditions.

If an employee requests bereavement leave, the employer must keep the request confidential other than from internal personnel or counsel if necessary or as required by law.

Take-Aways: Employers should include bereavement leave as one of the items in their annual policy review and update as needed.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Helena Kobrin
December 1, 2022

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