California Creates Employee Right to Reproductive Loss Leave
California Creates Employee Right to Reproductive Loss Leave

California Senate Bill (“SB”) 848, which becomes effective on January 1, 2024, entitles employees to five days of leave following a reproductive loss event. SB 848 adds section 12945.6 to the Government Code and applies to employers with five or more employees. Employees are eligible for the leave if they have worked for the employer for at least 30 days before suffering the reproductive loss.

SB 848 defines “reproductive loss event” as “the day or, for a multiple-day event, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction.” If a reproductive loss event occurs and an employee makes a request for leave, the employer must grant up to five days of leave. The leave may be non-consecutive, but employees must take the five days of leave within three months of the reproductive loss event.

Reproductive loss leave may be unpaid, but employees are permitted to use paid vacation time or accrued paid sick leave.  Importantly, an employee’s right to reproductive loss leave is a separate and distinct right from any other California statutory leave to which an employee may be entitled, which means that such leave rights will not run concurrently.  

SB 848 includes a provision prohibiting employers from retaliating against an employee for exercising their right to reproductive loss leave, or providing information on their own or another employee’s reproductive loss leave. It also provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for employers to interfere with employees’ attempts to exercise their reproductive leave rights. Additionally, the statute requires that employers must maintain the confidentiality of employee requests for reproductive loss leave.

This publication is published by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. The publication is intended to present an overview of current legal trends; no article should be construed as representing advice on specific, individual legal matters. Articles may be reprinted with permission and acknowledgment. ECJ is a registered service mark of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. All rights reserved.


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