A new law, SB 848 (Rubio-D, Baldwin Park), became effective January 1, 2024, and mandates that California governmental employers and all employers with 5 or more employees provide employees with protected leave after a “reproductive loss event.” To be eligible for the leave, an employee need only have been employed by the employer for 30 days prior to the reproductive loss.
The law is codified in Government Code 12945.6 and provides up to five days of protected leave for any employee who suffers a “reproductive loss event,” which is defined as “the day or, for multiple day events, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.” Assisted reproduction means any manner of achieving pregnancy through an artificial insemination (e.g., IVF treatments).
The leave need not be taken consecutively and is available to either of the would-be parents, including the non-birthing parent. However, the leave must be used within 3 months of the reproductive loss event. Moreover, for employees that suffer multiple reproductive losses, the law requires employers to provide a maximum of 20 days of leave per year. Although reproductive loss leave is unpaid, employees may use their accrued vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave and compensatory time during a reproductive leave absence in order to maintain their pay.
Finally, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees because of their use of reproductive loss leave. If you have any questions, please contact our office at RLSlawyers.com.